Kelis painting

How Art Can Help Beat The Blues

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Image by MatthewHolland

Anyone who has suffered depression will know just how debilitating an illness it can become. Feelings of loneliness, solitude and despair completely overwhelm the sufferer. Simple tasks such as getting dressed or cleaning your teeth can appear nigh on impossible. You would give anything to cut yourself off from the real world and cannot see any way out of the black hole that you find yourself in.

As more is learned about mental health, more therapies than ever before are available to fight and battle depression. Some treatments have proved more successful in dealing with the symptoms of depression than others – and surprisingly one of the best therapies has turned out to be art.

Sometimes Words Aren’t Enough

One of the things that I personally struggle with during my own low periods is finding the words to adequately do my feelings and emotions justice. Whether in a therapy session or trying to get what is inside me onto paper, the feelings of irritation, anger and hopelessness remain.

At times like this, using art to release those pent up emotions is a blessing. Letting your mind wander and guide a pen across a piece of paper in any direction sounds simple, but the effect it can have on your state of mind is remarkable.

Even though you’re not verbalizing your inner turmoil, what emerges from your doodling or scribbles can provide a sudden spark of inspiration, can distract you from black thoughts or can even clarify your thoughts more than words ever could.

Removing The Numbness

Speaking to people who are battling depression, the inability to feel or experience emotions is one which recurs time and again. The sufferer will talk of feeling detached from real life, or events around them.

By encouraging them to draw, paint or perhaps sculpture, then that person will find themselves immersing themselves in something which will end up being intensely personal to them. They will care about the outcome of their project and those feelings will be provoked to the surface once again. Feelings of pride, satisfaction which are so often suppressed during depression will encourage you to carry on and leave you wanting more.

Make Your Own Happiness

When one observes something which they find beautiful, the neurotransmitter dopamine – based in the pleasure centers of the brain – is released. Research has shown that this reaction, when confronted with a stunning piece of art, is similar to that of love. If that art has been created by your own hand, then those positive feelings will increase.

Why Art Over Other Therapies?

Many tried and tested therapies have proven more successful with a certain section of the personality range than others. Studies have shown that art therapy has had a high level of success right across the spectrum. Many who have undergone art therapy have found that they enjoy it to such an extent that they will continue drawing or painting well into recovery.

Art therapy is unique amongst therapies in that it is widely accepted to achieve the most difficult of results which is getting those fighting depression to express, confront and overcome their symptoms. The fact that the physical result is often beautiful is a wonderful by-product of the whole process.

Have you undergone art therapy either as part of a prescribed program or off your own back? Was it beneficial? Let us know in the comments section below.

 

John Rogers is a professional blogger who has used art in his own battle with depression.

Judy Byington

Women's History Month Spotlight: Judy Byington – Author of "Twenty-Two Faces"

Judy Byington

Name and Occupation:
Judy Byington, MSW, LCSW, retired; CEO, Trauma Research Center, former Supervisor, Alberta Mental Health, Director, Provo Family Counseling Center and Author, “Twenty-Two Faces: Inside the Extraordinary Life of Jenny Hill and Her Twenty-Two Multiple Personalities”

What do you love about being a woman?
How women are able to share their true feelings to help and support each other; how a loving mother can make a difference in her childrens lives and how women tend to stand up for truth despite the consequences.

What do you hate about being a woman?
How some think that you cannot accomplish just because you are a woman.

Who influences you?
God.

Something about you that would surprise people?
I am a mother to 8 and grandmother to 21 who has dedicated her life to humanizing and raising public awareness about the little-known effects of ritual abuse and mind-control programming that tragically cause formation of multiple personalities in children. My book 22 Faces is the biography of the only known survivor-intended-victim of a human sacrificial ceremony 53 year-old Jenny Hill (who is also a grandmother) Jenny and I are risking our lives to publish it. For the past 20 years I have interviewed hundreds of ritual abuse survivors like Jenny, therapists and families of missing children, followed activities of eight satanic covens here in Utah while consulting on satanic crime with legal entities including the Utah Attorney General Office of Special Investigations. My and Jenny’s January 11 2013 appearance on the Dr. Phil show uncovers the producers and society’s denial that ritual abuse exists. For details, read our Open Letters to Dr. Phil, and comments beneath them on our website: www.22faces.com

Anything else you`d like to add?
I know of thousands of ritual abuse survivors like Jenny and the over 900 therapists who treat them. I am personally acquainted with over 90 survivors and meet new ones almost daily through book signings and our website: www.22faces.com. The ritual abuse of children by their close relatives is a rampant problem in our society that needs to be addressed. Jenny and my purpose in publishing 22 Faces is to expose this horrible child abuse that is so traumatizing that it severs the personality.

bipolar-symptoms

Bipolar Quotes – Dealing With The Disease With Humor

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People may call it mood swings, irritability and even depression but there is no getting away from the fact that bipolar disorder is a serious disease and has unfortunately affected many people in the world today. Generally speaking, people who are affected by this disease swing between a great mood and then sink into a really dark mood very often. In fact such as the speed with which they can swing from one spectrum to the other that it can take people completely by surprise. There are different types of bipolar disorder and depending on the severity of the disease it can be classified into bipolar disorder – type I, type II and cyclothymia. The last one is said to be less severe.

There are plenty of stories of people who have used the powerful tool of humor to deal with their disease. One online blog says, “you might be bipolar if you got up this morning, put all your clothes on backwards and because you looked funny in the mirror you went to work that way.” This is from a blog written by Akeejaho who is a freelance writer  who fights with bipolar disorder everyday. There is no denying the fact that bipolar is a very serious disease but plenty of research has found that staying motivated and upbeat can go a long way in dealing with and defeating this disease.

Interestingly, there are plenty of comedians, famous people all of them, who also deal with bipolar disorder. Take for instance Russell Brand who is a famous comedian and Maria Bamford. Bamford in fact is known for her extremely funny portrayal of her extremely dysfunctional family. She has been held up as a great motivating force for people to deal with bipolar disorder. Stephen Fry who is yet another famous comedian and writer has a documentary about the disease called “the secret life of the manic-depressive” which netted him an Emmy award.

Using comedy and humor can help a person dealing with bipolar disorder to break down some of the walls that he constructs around himself. Laughing, laughing with others and even laughing at the disease can be a great way to take the edge off what it can do to your life. So just for that moment, being able to laugh at a funny bipolar quote or watching an individual who struggled with bipolar disorder laughing at himself is a great way to lighten up. This is especially important when someone is going through a dark phase in life.

James is a writer and blogger with 5 years experience.

 

Asha

Black History Month Spotlight: Asha Tarry – Social Advocate & Licensed Mental Health Professional

Asha

Name and occupation?
Asha Tarry, Social Advocate & Licensed Mental Health Professional

What do you love most about being a Black woman?
I love that I have so many talents and I feel unstoppable at this time in history, especially, with them.

Who or what inspires you?
I am inspired by other self motivated creative people who don’t let limitations stop them from fulfilling their dreams. I’m also inspired by people who are confident enough to reveal their true selves

What advice do you have for other Black women or men?
For Black women, my advice is to stop living the legacy of myths of untruths that were passed down from former generations. It limits your progress. For Black men, my advice is to take more risks in your careers and love life.

Anything else you`d like to add?
I am a change maker and I knew earlier in life that I was here to make a real difference in the world, especially for young people of color. I am inspired by their free spirits.

Where can we find you online?

  • Black History Month Spotlight: Savannah Britt – Owner & Editor in Chief of Girlpez Magazine (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Black History Month Spotlight: Merisa Parson Davis – Author of “Bill Cosby IS Right” (dangerouslee.biz)
mentally_HS

Infographic – Mental Illness: More Common Than You Think

It’s easy to assume that mental illnesses are rare because they aren’t always visible. In actuality, mental illnesses are far more prominent than one would think. 1 in 3 Americans will report having some sort of mental illness within their lifetime. Anxiety, bi-polar, depressive and other mood disorders are among the most common mental disorders. On that note, mental disorders don’t affect just one type of person. Mental illnesses exist among an extensive range of people — young & old, rich & poor and every ethnic group imaginable.

With antidepressant usage up by 400% in only the past two decades, it’s evident that advances in medicine have made mental illnesses far more treatable; thus, eliminating most of the stigma associated with mental illness. Medications greatly alleviate many of the symptoms associated with these disorders and help the afflicted move on with their lives. People with psychiatric problems are no longer thought of as “crazy” — just in need of assistance.

Source: Best Mental Health Degrees

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Music For The Mind Body And Spirit

Music is a secret language that can empower the mind, body and spirit for anyone. Through the usage and experiencing of music, there are many avenues that an individual can broaden their horizons and reap the artistic benefits contained within it. For numerous reasons, music has been a source of growth for all who are exposed to it, as an art and a kind of magic.

Music to expand the mind

In essence, music is a form of stimulation for the synatptic centers of the brain. By listening to different types of musical styles, it is possible to evoke and alter moods, feelings, attitudes, and influence the mind in so many ways. Whether it is done through formal art therapy, guided self hypnosis, or transcendetal meditation states, it has been show that all music has the ability to shape our thinking radically. Music has yet to be understood fully, as to how it can help expand our mental faculties and improve our mental health as human beings.

Music to enhance the body

The human body is syncronized by the beating of our hearts and the power of breathing. Both are basically our personalized version of musical patterns manifest in our biological balance with being alive. Every part of our biology responds to music and it is through dance, exercise, and breathing that we can enhance our bodies accordingly. Our internal clock, can be measured by the patterns of our nervous systems and our cardiovascular rhythms. So it is natural for music to be used as part of being healthier and enhancing our physical well being.

Music to elighten the spirit

There has always been a philosophical connection between music and achieving states of enlightenment. Music has been a part of religious and spritiual ritual rites from the earliest times in human history. The general appreciation of music, playing of instruments, and involvement with the arts, has long been considered among the practices of enlightened souls. Some even consider natural musical abilities to be divinely inspiried, but that is not the most important point here. In all forms, music inspires all individuals to be more creative, to think differently, and to apsire for what human beings deem being more enlightened.

Using the influence of music to influence and empower the mind, body, and spirit is an art until itself. There are so many ways that music makes life all the more worth living. Some would say that music is both a fine art, but also the magical formula for being human.

This article is brought to you by authors at beer of the month club. Drinking beer while listening to your favorite tunes will make your experince richer.

Deborah L. Parker

Black History Month Spotlight: Deborah L. Parker

Name and Title: Deborah L. Parker, Author, Speaker and Principal Consultant, The DPJ Training Group

What do you do and why? I conduct seminars on leadership, diversity and communications for organizations to enhance their employee’s knowledge and performance. This work allows me to share my gifts of teaching with insight from everyday situations at work and community. I also write articles on the same topics and blend in my love of history and observances of people. In both, I rely on my mistakes as ways to help others achieve and be inspired!

What mark have you left on Black history? Personally in my family and hometown I’ve had some firsts (graduated college, became an army officer, wrote a book) I’ve shared black history with colleagues in former positions where I coordinated programs that showcased local and national heroes and sheroes. As an aunt I’ve taken my nephews and nieces to historical sites and bought them books or other items to help them know and treasure our culture.

Why is celebrating Black History important to you? There are many proverbs, scriptures and other writings that point to the value of knowing your history on many levels. And I’ve discovered how true that is for your personal, family, cultural and religious foundations. This knowledge has been a source of pride and inspiration for me as I deal with life’s adventures and adversities. Many have faithfully gone before as they persevered and laid the stepping stones for me to have a better life.

Who or what do you honor most in Black History? First I honor God’s providence in all things. I give much appreciation to my late mother who blazed her own trails as a determined single parent of four children, went back to graduate from high school after giving birth to me as a teenager, became a homeowner while working at a factory and taught me in sometimes tough ways to move forward in spite of. To my deceased grandparents I honor their wisdom. For the “greats and famous” I honor their work despite many obstacles to press for freedom and all that is right and guaranteed for humanity.

Website and social media links:

  • Ask Dangerous Lee: Why is it that no African-American knows who Roscoe Robinson, Jr. is? (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Black History Month Spotlight: Swiyyah Nadirah Muhammad (dangerouslee.biz)
How to Move In - Book Cover

Book: How to Move in with Your Boyfriend (and Not Break Up with Him)

Relationship guru and author, Tiffany Current, has written a book about what many consider “living in sin” titled How to Move in with Your Boyfriend (and Not Break Up with Him). I certainly could have used this book more than ten years ago when I moved in with a boyfriend. Perhaps, like Tiffany, I would also be married to the man I moved in with. Then again, on second thought…maybe not!

This book is a must read if you are currently unhappily living with your boyfriend or if it’s a move you’re thinking about making in the near future. As Tiffany states, “Living together isn’t just about sharing closet space.  It’s about sharing your life too.  Without a game plan, your live-in relationship may be over before it even begins.”  She’s definitely not lying about that!

Learn more about Tiffany Current and this book at www.moveinyourboyfriend.com

Everybody Hurts…Sometimes

I used to hate this song when I was younger because I thought it was depressing and sad. It may very well have an air of sadness, but I definitely understand the lyrics now that I’m older and have more life experiences. Everybody Hurts is an anti-suicide song, but I have heard that people have actually committed suicide while listening to it. I’m sure this is another reason why I initially didn’t like the song.

What made me think of this song, you ask? I was watching So You Think You Can Dance and there was a beautiful dance routine to the Tina Arena version of this song. I like her version better but I gotta give respect to the original.

www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Book Spotlight: Thank Goodness You Dumped His Ass!

Author Charly Emery is proud to announce the release of her new book, Thank Goodness You Dumped His Ass: Use Those Mr. Wrongs to Lead You Straight to Mr. Right. With a refreshingly frank and entertaining writing style, Emery focuses solely on results by delivering a set of simple, specific and strategic steps that ensure success in the relationship market.

I asked Charly the following question and her answer follows:

Dangerous: I have not been in a relationship in 10 years. Men find me intimidating and unless I am initially physically attracted to someone I don’t give them the time of day. What is my problem?

Charly: I’d need more info to be super specific, however taking your question at face value, I’ll give you what comes to mind in general.

Most of the time we think men are intimidated when they don’t approach or fail to pursue something they start further, but to be real… sometimes if we have a harsh or cut and dry attitude toward them and/or relationships, men pick up on it and would rather avoid the situation. It’s the “I don’t need a man” stance, and it works really well as a deterrent. Of course we don’t need them, but putting off that vibe is more undesirable to a guy than it is intimidating.

Now I don’t know anything about you, but you haven’t been in a relationship for 10 years, so clearly something about you is not translating for those guys you are attracted to either. My advice would be to first assess what your true feelings toward men and relationships are. If you are conflicted about wanting to meet someone or a love relationship in general, you’ll block men from approaching you energetically very easily —even if you don’t think so. If you’re afraid that adding a man threatens your identity or sense of independence, you could also block them. No matter how you slice it, men need to be attracted to you just as much as you want to be attracted to them, and if something about your personality is non-welcoming, they’re going to move onto the someone who appears to be more open. I’d ask yourself honestly what the value even is for you to add a man to your life —because if you’re not clear about that, or don’t believe there is much value you’ll also block men very effectively.

Our attitudes toward men and relationships have a lot to do with who we attract (and don’t attract). If you want to attract a good guy for you, you’ve got to be clear about wanting the relationship, welcome one into your life by recognizing that it will add value and then make sure you’re motivated by the right reasons —perhaps in your case, you’re just not really motivated at all… Love is business and you’ve got to assess your mission statement in the relationship market just as clearly as you defined the purpose and plan for your website. I run through the entire process in my book so women are empowered to own who they are in and out of the process, while dumping any residual baggage too.

In truth it’s never the man we’re after. The product we want is the relationship experience —from a business perspective, the man is simply the market that yields the product.

www.charlysense.com

  • 5 Under-The-Radar Flags That You Should Dump Him…Now! (dangerouslee.biz)