Tag Archives: 4

Are you Depressed?

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In my opinion,  psychiatrists should first test their patients for nutritional deficiencies before writing prescriptions for Zoloftor for  antipsychotics, like Zyprexa.  Conscientious doctors send patients to get lab work done prior to prescribing drugs or increasing dosages.  There are times when people do need antidepressants.   However,  other times  spinach would go far to eliminate the symptoms of depression.   Think Popeye.

If you haven’t ever tested your nutrition levels, you might inquire with either your psychiatrist or primary-care physician. Supplements can be expensive, but you can make it back  by not having to see your psychiatrist as often. You should talk to your doctor before taking any supplements, especially if you’re on prescription drugs.

 

Vitamin D

According to my doctor, Vitamin D deficiency is a major epidemic that doctors and public health officials are just beginning to realize. This deficiency has been linked to depression, dementia, and autism. Most of our levels drop off during the fall and winter months, since sunlight is the richest source.   My doctor believes that we should be getting from 5,000 to 10,000 IU  a day.  However, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends most healthy adults get only about 600 IUs daily.  Hence, the widespread deficiency and increases in depression.

Magnesium

I am forever extolling the virtues of Magnesium, because this, like Vitamin D, is deficient in most American adults, according to my doctor, and the symptoms are not pretty.  They can, in fact, set off a chain reaction of unpleasant symptoms. Our lifestyles decrease our levels of Magnesium.  Some of the things that contribute are excess alcohol, salt, coffee, sugar, phosphoric acid (in soda), chronic stress, antibiotics, and diuretics (water pills). Magnesium is sometimes referred to as the stress antidote, the “most powerful relaxation mineral that exists,” according to Hyman. It is found in seaweed, greens, and beans. The NIH recommends a daily intake of about 400 to 420 milligrams (mg) of magnesium for adult men and 310 to 320 mg for adult women.  Magnesium Citrate can also act as a laxative, so buy your Magnesium accordingly….and time it well.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

I was surprised when my results showed an omega-3 fatty acid deficiency because I eat plenty of salmon and take fish oil supplements every day. That shows you just how much fish — salmon, tuna, halibut — or flaxseeds and walnuts we need to consume to be at an optimal level. These essential minerals reduce inflammation and play a critical role in brain function, especially memory and mood. The body can’t make them, so you need to either eat them or take supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids are just one of the supplements I take every day for depression

Vitamin B Complex

B vitamins like vitamin B-6 and vitamin B-12 can provide some incredible health benefits, including reduced stroke risk and healthy skin and nails. On the other hand, a vitamin B deficiency may impact your mental health. More than a quarter of severely depressed older women were deficient in B-12, according to one 2009 study.

The best sources of vitamin B-6 are poultry, seafood, bananas, and leafy green vegetables. For vitamin B-6, the NIH recommends a daily intake of 1.7 mg for adult men, and 1.5 mg for adult women. Vitamin B-12 is found in animal foods (meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and milk) and shellfish, such as clams, mussels, and crab. Most adults should need to consume 2.4 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin B-12 daily, according to the NIH.

Folate

People with a low folate level have only a 7 percent response to treatment with antidepressants. Those with high folate levels have a response of 44 percent, according to Hyman. That is why many psychiatrists are now prescribing a folate called Deplin to treat depression and improve the effectiveness of an antidepressant. I tried it and it didn’t seem to make that much of a difference; however, I have several friends who have had very positive responses to Deplin. You need not try the prescription form of Deplin. You could just start taking a folate supplement and see if you get any results. Your daily recommended folate intake depends on your gender, whether you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, and age. However, most adults need at least 400 mcg daily. You can also get your daily folate requirements by consuming foods high in folate, including dark leafy greens, beans and legumes, and citrus fruits and juices.

 Amino Acids

Amino acids — the building blocks of protein — help your brain properly function. A deficiency in amino acids may cause you to feel sluggish, foggy, unfocused, and depressed. Good sources of amino acids include beef, eggs, fish, beans, seeds, and nuts.

 Iron

Iron deficiency is pretty common in women. About 20 percent of women, and 50 percent of pregnant women, are in the club. Only three percent of men are iron deficient. The most common form of anemia — an insufficient number of red blood cells — is caused by iron deficiency. Its symptoms are similar to depression: fatigue, irritability, brain fog. Most adults should consume 8 to 18 mg of iron daily, depending on age, gender, and diet, according to the NIH. Good sources of iron include red meat, fish, and poultry. If you really want to get more red blood cells, eat liver. Yuck.

 Zinc

This one is SO important!  Zinc is used by more enzymes (and we have over 300) than any other mineral. It is crucial to many of our systems. It activates our digestive enzymes so that we can break down our food, and works to prevent food allergies (which, in turn, averts depression in some people, since some of our mood disruptions are triggered by food allergies). It also helps our DNA to repair and produce proteins. Finally, zinc helps control inflammation and boosts our immune system. The NIH recommends a daily intake of 11 mg of zinc for adult men and 8 mg for adult women.

 Selenium

Like iodine, selenium is important for good thyroid function. It assists the conversion of inactive thyroid hormone T4 to the active thyroid hormone, T3. It also helps one of our important antioxidants (glutathione peroxidase) keep polyunsaturated acids in our cell membranes from getting oxidized (rancid). Most adults need about 55 mcg of selenium daily. The best food source of selenium is Brazil nuts, which contains about 544 mcg of selenium per ounce.

Iodine

Iodine deficiency can be a big problem because iodine is critical for the thyroid to work as it should, and the thyroid affects more than you think: your energy, metabolism, body temperature, growth, immune function, and brain performance (concentration, memory, and more). When it’s not functioning properly, you can feel very depressed, among other things. You can get iodine by using an iodine-enriched salt, or by eating dried seaweed, shrimp, or cod. I take a kelp supplement every morning because I have hypothyroidism. The daily recommend amount of iodine for most adults is about 150 mcg.

Feeling Great ….Really

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You know, I stay so busy that I can sometimes lose touch of how I feel on a given day, simply because I’m on auto-pilot so often, rushing from one job to another, working on opening my business, still writing and writing and making art, providing childcare for Ingrid, taking care of our home, making music, making life happen…..so when I stop, as I did today while the beautiful scent of lavender (my favorite) wafted up from the floors that I’d just mopped, and I thought about how I really feel, all I could think was how great I have it right now….how happy I am….how all the pieces have simply fallen into place.

There is illness in my family….my cousin….my parents….but even still, my heart is peaceful, albeit very concerned.

There is no dysfunction in my immediate life.  There is stress, but it is the normal kind that comes with an overwhelming, crushing amount of work….yet, each time I complete one task and go on to the next, I feel a little happier, like I am one step closer to opening this business and realizing my goals.  Things are so good!  I am one lucky woman.

I would like to thank those family members who have been so incredibly supportive of me….my husband, my daughter and on and on.  What would I have done without them?   My dear friends who make sure I know I am valuable to them.  I have some incredible friends, and I have not lost a single one of them in years.  They stand by me in the face of controversy and make sure that I know I am loved, every day of the week.   I am one lucky woman.

I still love living in this beautiful city in this beautiful state and I count my blessings every day for everything that I have.  Money can’t buy this folks.  Money can’t buy this kind of happiness.

Life just doesn’t get much better than this.

I have love.  I have life.  I have someone who is very, very special and sweet who makes me feel good to be alive, and for this, I am most thankful of all.

Life is great.

The Control Dramas of Other People

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How to Build Immunity to Other People’s Control Dramas

 

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By  Julian Websdale

Many people go through their lives in a constant hunt for someone else’s energy. It is unconscious in many people. All they know is that when they control others they feel better. What they don’t realise is that this sense of feeling better costs the other person. It is their energy that is stolen.

Manipulation for other people’s energy can happen either aggressively, directly forcing people to pay attention to them, or passively, playing on people’s sympathy or curiosity to gain attention.

So first, let’s look at the main ways control dramas are played out.

The Intimidator

If someone threatens you, either verbally or physically, then you are forced, for fear of something bad happening to you, to pay attention to them and so to give them energy. The person threatening you would be pulling you into the most aggressive kind of control drama – the intimidator.

 

Poor Me

If, on the other hand, someone tells you all the horrible things that are already happening to them, implying perhaps that you are responsible, and that, if you refuse to help, these horrible things are going to continue, then this person is seeking to control at the most passive level – a “poor me” drama.

Think about this for a moment. Haven’t you ever been around someone who makes you feel guilty when you’re in their presence, even though you know there is no reason to feel this way? It’s because you have entered the drama world of a “poor me”. Everything they say and do puts you in a place where you have to defend against the idea that you’re not doing enough for this person. That’s why you feel guilty just being around them.

The Interrogator

An interrogator is another kind of drama. People who use this means of gaining energy, set up a drama of asking questions and probing into another person’s world with the specific purpose of finding something wrong. Once they do so, they criticise this aspect of the other’s life. If this strategy succeeds then the person being criticized is pulled into the drama. They suddenly find themselves becoming self-conscious around the interrogator and paying attention to what the interrogator is doing and thinking about, so as not to do something wrong that the interrogator would notice. This psychic deference gives the interrogator the energy he desires. Think about the times you have been around someone like this. When you get caught up in this drama, don’t you tend to act a certain way so that the person won’t criticize you? They pull you off your own path and drain your energy because you judge yourself by what they might be thinking.

Aloof Drama

Another way of trying to get energy coming their way is by playing the aloof drama. This involves withdrawing and looking mysterious and secretive. They tell themselves they’re being cautious but what they’re really doing is hoping you will be pulled into this drama and will try to figure out what’s going on with them. When you do, they remain vague, forcing you to struggle and dig and try to discern their true feelings. As you do so, you give them your full attention and that sends your energy to them. The longer they can keep you interested and mystified, the more energy they receive.

Passive or aggressive?

Anyone’s drama can be examined according to where it falls on the spectrum, from aggressive to passive. If a person is subtle in their aggression, finding fault and slowly undermining your world in order to get your energy, then this person would be an interrogator. Less passive than the “poor me” would be the aloofness drama.

The order of dramas, from aggressive to passive, goes this way:  intimidator,  interrogator,  aloof,  poor me.

Some people use more than one in different circumstances, but most people who try to engage you in control  dramas have one dominant drama type that they tend to repeat, depending on which one worked well on the members of their early family. A person goes to whatever extreme necessary to get attention energy in their family. And after that, this strategy becomes their dominant way of controlling to get energy from everyone, the drama they constantly repeat.

Building Immunity to Control Dramas

The first step in the process of  becoming immune  is to bring control dramas into full consciousness – by pointing them out as soon as they are identified. In order to see how a control drama was formed, each person must go back into their past, back into early family life. Seeing its inception keeps a person’s way of controlling in consciousness. Remember, most of our family members were operating in a drama themselves, trying to pull energy out of us as children. This is why we had to form a control drama in the first place. We had to have a strategy to win energy back.

If you are a child and someone is draining your energy by threatening you with bodily harm, then being aloof doesn’t work. They are not interested in what’s going on inside you. They’re coming on too strong. So you’re forced to become more passive and to try the “poor me” approach, appealing to the mercy of the person, guilt tripping them about the harm they are doing. If this doesn’t work, then, as a child you endure until you are big enough to explode against the violence and fight aggression with aggression.

Imagine you are a child and your family members are either not there or ignore you because they are preoccupied with their careers or something. Playing aloof would not get their attention; they wouldn’t notice. You would have to resort to probing and prying and finally finding something wrong in these aloof people in order to force attention and energy. This is what an interrogator does.

Therefore, aloof people create interrogators, and interrogators make people aloof. Intimidators create the “poor me” approach, or if this fails, another intimidator. This is how control dramas perpetuate themselves. When faced with someone’s control drama, one can stay immune to it by 1) identifying it and pointing it out, and 2) avoid acting in any way which resembles its corresponding counterpart control drama.

Invitations

Reference:

Redfield, J. (1994).  The Celestine Prophecy.  London: Bantam Books.

Betsabeé Romero in Reno

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Betsabeé Romero in Reno

I went to see the Betsabeé Romero show at the Nevada Museum of Art a few days ago and would like to write about two parts of the exhibit.  The exhibit is Romero’s first solo museum exhibition in the western United States.   She is one of the most highly evered Mexican artists of her generation. and is known for combining indigenous and folkloric designs with non-traditional art-making materials, and for creating inventive installations inspired by literature and diverse cultures.  She created a series of four new installations for the exhibition, with an overriding thematic focus on transportation—both literal and metaphorical.

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The first pieces were large circular discs that were suspended about a foot away from the wall and facing a window.  The light from the window penetrated the surface of the various materials on the discs to reflect beautiful colored shadows on the wall behind them.

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The soft light and color filtering through the discs were magically multi-dimensional.  Their overall affect was one of serenity.

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Another part of the exhibit was Romero’s use of go cart wheels and gold leaf to make both physical sculptures and prints on paper.  Romero transformed tires in art from their status as a symbol of urban blight to one of progress and creative thinking.  This part of the exhibit was called, “Urban Stalactites and Stalagmites” and used Spanish and colonial patterns common to Mexico.

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The tires were inked, at one point, and rolled across papers to create serigraphs that repeated the designs.

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Redbird Moonshiner

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My lovely daughter-in-law has the best taste in music.  I am forever learning about new musicians with whom I was not previously acquainted.  She posted this one on her Facebook this morning and I just had to share.  I told her I thought the style was like Eddie Vedder with a soda chaser.

Enjoy Redbird Moonshiner.

Day #5-Egg

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What a perfectly lovely day this has been thus far.  The sun is out.  The air is fresh and crisp, and Ingrid & I have already taken a long walk together.  We have been to breakfast and have worked on two different art projects.

I received my first Easter greeting late, late last night  (((((heart))))), and have been showered with good wishes from my friends and family all day long.   This is an excellent day, and I am happy to be awake, alive and in love.

Ingrid has gone to her paternal grandmother’s house for an egg hunt, and I am listening to Andrés Segovia Torres as I get things done around the house.  No big plans for the day, but I have a smile on my face….and in my heart.

 

Simple Truths

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One of my closest and dearest friends forwarded this video to me today.  I just had to share.  Simple truths are the most important truths.

Day # 7 – A SIGN

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ImageRene Best musician

 Photo a Day – AUGUST

Day #7 – A Sign

© Stacy Alexander – 2013

Day #18 – NUMBER

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Photo a Day – JULY

DAY #18 – NUMBER

© Stacy Alexander – 2013                                                Genie Webster

(Original artwork by Stacy Alexander © 2013)      

Day #30 – HANDWRITING

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Photo a Day – JUNE

DAY #30 – HANDWRITING

© Stacy Alexander – 2013