Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Even Mild Depression Shortens Your Life

Emotional health may play a far greater role in the long-term survival of patients suffering from chronic heart failure, according to a new study that compared the mortality rates of patients based on a common screening test for depression. So much so, even patients considered to be in a sub-depressive state can also increase their risk of death. The results of this study were published in the March 9, 2005 edition of Science Blog.

Scientists tracked the progress of more than 1,000 cardiac patients who were screened for depression during their hospital stay using Beck's Depression Inventory (BDI), then followed them for seven years to determine if there was a correlation between test scores and mortality rates. Researchers hope these results will spur doctors to pay far closer attention to their patients' psychological states, along with their physical conditions.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Wonderful Qualities of Bipolar - Julie's 2nd Installment

As promised, here's Julie response when I asked permission to post her first email. I just love this gal!

"Are you kidding, I would write anything that would help other people with this.
I almost died because of this illness Bipolar (more than once), it destroyed my marriage, I was diagnosed with MS, which I don't have, for 10 years AND treated for it! On and on....

The good news?
I have been full time college student for two years. I have a high gpa. I am on my own with 3 fantastic boys, and we are doing great, considering the last 2 years.

I also know the frustration ( with the child and the schools and the doctors and the "well-meaning" relatives, and above all myself), the heartbreak, the desperation and the patience and strength it takes to be a parent with a child who is severely ADD/ADHD.

I grew up with it ( they called it "ornery", "lazy" and "motormouth" back then.) I did poorly in school when I got to jr. high and high school. But I have a very high IQ, like ALL people with ADD do. ( Especially encouraging to many ADD kids and adults would be a Multiple Intelligence Profile. Much more informative for the person/parents than the regular IQ tests. Especially helpful in developing IEP's.

We are gifted, talented, and have great leadership potential. It's the rest of the world that has the problem :D

God bless you,
There is still SO MUCH ignorance about these things. And the public schools may never "get" it.

There is LOTS of hope though. MOST of the people I go to college with have ADD/ADHD ( with or without Bipolar Disorder) One of my professors has BP and company.

We are in the computer sciences/engineering fields. Game design ( go figure), programming, networking, and my field is cyber security and forensics.
God loves geeks too :D

Many of us are musicians, writers, artists, ( several tattoo artists) And we may be the "oddballs", but everybody calls us when they have a problem. So for the younglings out there and their parents who struggle and think how will they ever get through life? Just like the rest of us are. We just need different water

They will find other people like them. Normal people go nuts around us when there are 2 or 3 of us together. We don't complete sentences, we constantly interupt each other and have 5 or 6 discussions at the same time. We say , oh yeah, did you, check this out, saw it. Imagine a whole class, and the teacher!

It's not easy. It can be excruciatingly difficult. But I know one thing else. We are fighters and we are stronger than "normal" people when it comes to sheer will. May not look like it. We may look like lumps under blankets and pillows, or losers. But we do things that would break a lot of other people inside.

OK, off my soapbox. I get a bit carried away. I rarely talk about the subject, because the world does not understand, and worse than that, they roll their eyes, think they do, and don't want to hear anything about it. They prefer to be ignorant.

Another GREAT tool I learned last semester is the SQ4R study method. There are many sites that dicsuss both. I saw immediate improvement in my grades, and I was much less overwhelmed with my material. I am teaching my kids how to study this way. It is much easier than "regular" studying, you learn more, and most important is you remember more at crunch time. With engineering classes, dense in technical material, this was a major help. And I had 98% and 100% test scores in my other classes.

Ok, enough blabbering!

But seriously, I think the people who have experience and knowledge have an obligation to help others be more productive and have better lives.
Maybe I should start a blog ( right!)

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Thoughts on Bipolar

This email came across my desk from Julie, who was concerned that our bipolar section might not have the adequate warnings about seeing a doctor before taking natural remedies. While I spend the day going through the pages to make sure these concerns are addressed, I thought I would leave Julie's thoughts. I asked permission beforehand and her response was even better than her original so tomorrow I will run the second installment from Julie. I am so thankful for people like this in the world. Thank you Julie, for taking the time to help other people!

"One thing to mention is that people with Bipolar Disorder MUST NOT take anti depressant medications, herbs, supplements for depression ( 5-HTP), without seeing a doctor. Anti depressant medications or compounds ( even "safe" natural herbs) will cause hypomania, mania, dysphoria ( manic rage, opposite of "euphoria"). These may include auditory, visual, perceptual hallucinations, delusions. A mood stabilizer must be used. Lithium used to be the only choice , then dreaded Depakote ( an evil drug), but now there are many new things that have no side effects ( I take Trileptal)

MANY people with ADD-ADHD are Bipolar and either are or may not be diagnosed with it. Some studies say that as many as 80% of ADD are Bipolar. If you are Bipolar you have ADD. They are comorbid.
( Like diabetes and high cholesterol, as a bad example :)

Most children with ADD/ ADHD are actually Bipolar.

You do yourself a favor by looking into Bipolar Disorder. It is a horrible illness.
Many of us with Bipolar are medication dependant. My life depends on my medications. Some "natural" people can't understand that. While there are many benefits of vitamins, mineral, anti oxidants, herbs, etc. we must be very careful of many compounds. And going all natural for someone like myself: Bipolar I, mixed state, cycle every 15 minutes ( as opposed to several years) with psychosis, it is imperative to be under a doctor's care and on medication.

In my case, using only natural compounds would be like throwing a cup of water on a burning house. Some people really are that bad. A part of the brain that soaks up Serotonin are called 1 A receptors. People with Bipolar Disorder have 40% LESS 1A receptors than a non bipolar brain. There are many structural differences in the brain.

I know how awful the medications can be as far as side effects go. But 5-HTP, St. John's wort etc. are not enough for me. ( I have a friend who is a 30 some year expert in homeopathic)

BP is like a spectrum, or a pendulum. Some people are close enough to the "mid" point, that natural supplements alone are effective. Which is wonderful. There are some of us though that, as I have said, are so extremely on both ends
( depressed, or manic. I have "mixed state" meaning I have symptoms of both, the hardest state to treat.)

Just like some can control diabetes with diet and exercise, and some must have insulin.

The pituitary gland and thyroid are also big culprits in depression ( T3 and T4 are rarely checked) high carb diets ( white sugar, refined stuff), too much caffeine, no exercise, and all of the other bad "western" habits we have are major contributors.

Keep up the good work!! Knowledge is power when surviving with these illnesses. And success in life is attainable with this.
You have very good info. How did I find your site?
Looking up withdrawal symptoms for Lexapro! I am being switched to a "gentler" antidep. wellbutrin. Much safer for people like me who tend towards mania.

I am sure many of your products would be helpful for those who are not at the extreme some of us are. Especially parents who do not want their kids on pharmaceuticals unless they have tried and failed with everything else.( Diet, supplements. behavioral help, etc.)

Anti depressants in kids are very unknown territory and it does not look good from some studies. They do not have adult bodies. My oldest son is ADD/ADHD. He spent four years on Ritalin. At the time it was the only choice we knew of. Homeopathy was very much still "west coast" 13 years ago. At 9 he had the body of a 6 year old. He had his wrist x-rayed. It had stunted his growth. His growth hormones were very diminished. Within a year of going off it he shot up and was within his age group for size. He is now a pretty solid 18 year old. But he was diagnosed Bipolar when he was 14. It is hereditary.

Sorry to be so long! But I enjoyed the information on your site so much, I thought you might be interested in something that ADD/ADHD is always present in.

I go to a technical college. I am surprised how many students in engineering sciences and Information Technologies have ADD/ADHD. I will let them know about your supplements. We "oddballs" seem to find each other.


Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Military Says, "Just Say No" to Ritalin

Did you know the United States Military once used Ritalin to keep the troops more attentive and calm? Nowadays if a young man or woman takes Ritalin or other ADD/ADHD medications, they will most likely not be able to join the military. The information process that a person has to go through to prove to the recruiters that they are off the medication is so involved that a lot of people find it to be too much bother. A person on ADHD medications that wants to join the military will need to wean off the medication and be off the medication at least six months before they will be considered for the military. They will also need a letter from their doctor stating that they can function properly without the medicine, which can be a feat all in itself. Here is where it gets interesting. If was a draft tomorrow, the things I told you would go straight out the window and they would accept everyone in the interest of national security. But for now, the military is taking an anti-drug stance as it pertains to Attention Deficit Disorder. It's not surprising that we ship many orders to APO addresses. If you are in the military and finding it hard to function without ADHD medications, or are considering a career in the US miliary, you will want to find a solid alternative like Attend.

A Few Changes a Day can Make a Huge Difference

Before you except a prescription from your child’s doctor for his or hers ADD/ADHD symptoms, there are some steps you can take as parents to help control or diminish them all together.

For starters it is noted that Americans watch on average 6 hours of television a day. That’s right -- 6 hours a day. Televisions are not babysitters nor should they be treated that way. Your child should only be watching at the most 2 hours of television a day and even that is pushing it. The same goes for computer games also.

Don’t get me wrong, there are educational games that can be beneficial. However, the time spent using these games, they are sitting and doing nothing physical. Imagine the physical activities families can plan together if they had an extra 4 hours a day.

There are also dietary changes that will help your child learn healthy eating habits. Some of the changes that you can make are:

_ Start to cut down on your child’s intake of soda, kool-aid and similar drinks. After you cut them down, then you can slowly eliminate them from the diet altogether.

_ Do not use fast food as a reward for you child. These food are super high in fat and carbohydrates.

_ Cut down the amount of white flour, sugar, preservatives and chemical additives that is in your child’s diet.

Last but not least, remember this - you are not alone. You are not a failure if the school psychologist wants to talk to you about your child’s shortcomings. More than half of the children in school today have in one way or another been labeled with some sort of behavioral problem.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Heartbreaking Story @the effects of antidepressants

This morning I received an email bringing my attention to a young man, Christopher Pittman. If you are considering placing your child on antidepressants, I highly encourage you to visit www.christopherpittman.org

Zoloft, along with other antidepressants, is shown to cause suicidal and homicidal tendencies in children. These are dangerous drugs. Please, please, please look at these as the absolute last resort, instead of the first course of treating depression. To learn more about depression medications and natural alternatives to these drugs, please visit the Attention Deficit Disorder Help Center section concerning depression. Knowledge is power.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Give it Time!

Happy Monday all! Our day started with a women who was frustrated because her child has been on Attend for over a month and she is yet to see improvements. Patience, patience, my friends. Just as start a new diet or exercise program takes time to see solid results, starting a new health initiative like Attend will also take time. Attend works beautifully but you do need to give it at least 4-6 weeks. You will see subtle changes before that, but the biggie changes are often seen later. For more information about Attend, visit the Attention Deficit Disorder Help Center at www.add-adhd-help-center.com

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Feed the Brain w/ Omega-3 Fatty Acids

If you've taken a gander around the Attention Deficit Help Center web site, you know I am a big fan of Omega-3 fatty acids for improved learning and decreased Attention Deficit Disorder symptoms.

There are many studies that point to these advantages. A British study released this week confirms what previous studies revealed; fatty acids are good for the brain.

This new study revealed that 40 percent of children showed significant improvements in reading and spelling when given fish oil supplements. Fish oils contain omega-3s that are essential for brain development. Modern processed diets are lacking in the Omega-3 fatty acids.

This study focused on 120 "underachievers" between the ages of 5 and 12. The study group of children were believed to have dyspraxia, a condition that encompasses problems with motor skills and coordination. Dyspraxia often overlaps with dyslexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and autism.

About one-third of the children in the study demonstrated enough problems to classify them as ADHD. Half of the children analyzed were given fish oil supplements over three months, while the other half were given placebos of olive oil.

The children who took fish oil supplements made about three times the amount of progress in their reading skills than those who took the placebo.

After three months, the placebo group was also given the fish oil supplements. Similar boosts in progress were seen in the placebo group when they switched to active supplements.

Also, after three months of taking fish oil, half of them children who classified as ADHD showed such significant improvements that they no longer fell into this category.

According to this study, children suffer behavioral and learning disorders because their diets are deficient in vital nutrients needed for their brains to function normally.

The results of this study were published in the May 2005 issue of "Pediatrics" and at Guardian.co.uk, posted on May 2, 2005. If your child is experiencing learning difficulties and you are uncomfortable putting the child on stimulant medication, you might want to try using a quality supplement like Attend that is heavy on the Omega-3 fatty acids.