Gooden Center
A residential drug treatment center for men located in Pasadena, CA. The Gooden Center is a proud member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP).

(626) 356-0078
191 North El Molino Avenue Pasadena, CA 91101 US

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Posts Tagged ‘depression’

Bipolar Disorder and Social Media

Posted on: October 23rd, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Bipolar Disorder and Social Media

Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are a place where your family members, high school friends and new coworkers dump their vacation photos, celebrations, political rants, and for some a way broadcast their times of crisis. We’ve all came across an alarming Instagram post or Facebook status update that made us stop and wonder, “are they alright?”.

In an article in the New York Times, titled “Social Mania” the author details his brother, who is diagnosed bipolar disorder, and his relationship with social media. The author details his online behavior, “His episodes were unpredictable in every way except for how predictably they manifested on Facebook: Between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., he’d push out dozens of posts per hour, his Facebook timeline became his manic stream of consciousness, and my personal barometer for his illness”. As a vast amount of the population use social media on a daily basis, the question is, does social media help or harm users with diagnosed mental illness?

Mental health and social media have a complex relationship. While some have found support and a sense of community within social media, others believe the very nature of social media can exacerbate their mental health. As so many users share mostly the good, many can’t help but compare their own lives and ultimately feel inadequate. Studies show that the more time people spend on Facebook, the more they felt “depression and demoralization”. How they perceive others in turns skews how they perceive themselves, and an irrational sense of self often develops.

For bipolar disorder specifically, social media can become a playground for their mania. Things like dating apps, gambling app and even Instagram shopping features are almost made to incite those with strong impulsive behaviors. The amount of time spent on social media can cater to those with addictive inclinations. For those undergoing a major depressive episode social media can make them feel increasingly more isolated.

One study from National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan reported they have developed a way to identify the early signs of bipolar disorder via Twitter. By studying the time of a tweet, the frequency of posting and the language used, researchers then developed an algorithm to use patterns and distinguish between people with and without early signs of bipolar disorder. Although Facebook and Twitter can be the most telling in terms of recognizing mental health concerns, Instagram has been rated the worst in terms of negative effect on mental health.

For some, banning social media entirely from their lives may be a more extreme approach. However, it is important to be conscious of their mental state after using social media. If they feel social media has become overwhelming or worsening their symptoms they may consider taking a break. Instead of looking for online connection, those may find it more fulfilling to connect with family members, old friends or other people offline. The benefits of physical exercise is a highly recommended activity to help alleviate bipolar disorder symptoms and a healthier way to pass time and make friends.

 

References:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/27/well/family/bipolar-disorder-social-media.html

https://www.bphope.com/social-media-bipolar-trigger/

https://graziadaily.co.uk/life/real-life/instagram-worst-mental-health-2/

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/609900/your-tweets-could-show-if-you-need-help-for-bipolar-disorder/

What to Do About Suicidal Thoughts

Posted on: August 28th, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Bipolar Disorder and Social Media

 

There is a stigma surrounding the topic of suicide and many people don’t like to discuss it because it can be upsetting. Unfortunately, suicidal thoughts and even attempts can be common problems for people struggling with mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and personality disorders. Even though the sufferer may think that their feelings are normal, suicidal thoughts are a serious issue and need to be treated by a professional.

 

If you are having suicidal thoughts and are not sure what to do about them then the first step would be to reach out and talk to someone. Isolating yourself with these thoughts is only going to make them a bigger problem. If you tell someone that you trust that you are dealing with these thoughts then they can provide you with guidance and emotional support.

 

If you are in a serious crisis and need help right away then there are suicide prevention hot lines that can help take you out of immediate danger. They are specially trained to talk people out of a crisis so that they are feeling better and are in a place where they can look for long term help. A crisis hotline will be the first step but it is important to follow it up with treatment or therapy.

 

If you are receiving help from a therapist then you can use additional tactics to help with suicidal thoughts. Meditating can help you process your emotions and remove yourself from negative thoughts that seem overwhelming. You can also write down your feelings or find some way to express them so that you don’t get stuck thinking in the same cycle.

 

Suicidal thoughts can be a symptom of mental illness. If you haven’t been diagnosed yet it is a good idea to talk to a psychiatrist about your thoughts so that they can assess your condition and provide you with proper treatment.

 

References

https://www.integration.samhsa.gov/clinical-practice/suicide-prevention-update

4 Common Myths about Depression

Posted on: August 23rd, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Bipolar Disorder and Social Media

 

Even though depression may be one of the most common mental health problems in the U.S. it is a topic that is rarely discussed. People have many misconceptions about depression because of the stigma behind the disease and a lack of understanding about what causes it. These are some of the prevailing myths about depression.

 

  1. Depression is all in your head

People mistakenly believe that depression is something that a person can just snap out of or shut off. While depression can partially be related to negative thoughts, it is a chronic disorder that requires treatment to manage. It is not only a psychological disorder but it also has social and biological elements as well with physical issues that need to be addressed.

 

  1. Depression is a normal part of life that will pass on it’s own

Unfortunately, many people with depression themselves believe this myth which can stop them from getting the help they need. It can be normal to feel sad from time to time but depression is a more serious issue that is too difficult to resolve alone. You don’t have to live with depression and wait for it to end, you can get help to recover.

 

  1. Depression always requires medication

Although many people have benefitted from the use of medication to treat their depression, it is only one option for treatment. Some may prefer not to use any substances to handle their symptoms and would prefer to focus on other methods including cognitive behavioral therapy. Taking medication depends on the severity of the condition as well as the individual’s personal choices.

 

  1. Depression is a weakness

Many people deal with the stigma that having depression means that you are weak and can’t handle life. The reality is that depression is a psychological condition that is not a choice and has nothing to do with how strong someone is. Getting treatment take strength and courage for people dealing with difficult feelings.

 

References

https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/mental-health-myths-facts

Recognizing Different Types of Depression

Posted on: June 12th, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments

 

Recognizing Different Types of Depression

Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in the U.S. and people tend to think of it as one general problem. However, depression can come in many forms and it affects people in different ways depending on their individual experiences and their specific diagnosis. Symptoms of depression can vary greatly and people who have gone through certain types of trauma may have their own form of depression.

The most general type of depression that people are familiar with is major depression which is diagnosed when someone has had depression symptoms for more than six months. People with this form of depression are not experiencing symptoms in relation to specific conditions but are struggling with long term feelings of sadness and hopelessness. Major depression may occur in just one episode or it can return several times during the person’s lifetime.

Another form of depression that is less severe is known as dysthymia which is a low intensity mood disorder. Symptoms may be similar to major depression but are less intense and will often last much longer. People with this disorder may not be completely disabled by their illness but they may still have problems functioning or feeling good.

Depression can also arise under specific circumstances such as in conditions like postpartum depression and seasonal affective disorder. Women with postpartum depression experience their symptoms for a period of time after giving birth. Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that occurs only in certain seasons, usually during winter.

Depression is also associated with other mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder which can include major bouts of depression as part of their different episodes. It is important for people with depression to get an accurate diagnosis so that they know which kind of depression they are dealing with and can get appropriate treatment.

Depression and Women: Gender Gap in Mental Health

Posted on: May 18th, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments
Bipolar Disorder and Social Media

Depression is a problem that affects millions of Americans but studies have repeatedly shown that women have much higher rates of the illness. Research that evaluates depression in both genders shows that women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression than men. They are also three times more likely to suffer from anxiety disorders or attempt suicide.

What causes the gender gap in illnesses like depression? There are many different factors that can contribute to women struggling with mental health problems. Depression treatment that focuses on the specific issues that women face can help them understand what has caused their depression.

One of the reasons that women struggle more with depression has to do with biological and hormonal differences. Women’s mental health is affected by hormonal changes throughout their life that occur during puberty, during their menstrual cycle, throughout pregnancy and postpartum as well as perimenopause and menopause. These shifting hormones can disrupt the serotonin levels in the brain which help control mood.

Other factors which can influence depression for women are life circumstances and cultural pressures. Women are more likely to make less money than men in similar jobs and overall they are more likely to live in poverty. They also tend to have more stress and responsibilities, often balancing work and duties at home as a caregiver.

Women are also more likely to experience some type of physical, emotional or sexual abuse at some point in their life which can increase their likelihood of depression. Although these factors contribute to higher rates of diagnosis, women are also more likely to seek help through depression treatment. Getting professional care can make it possible for more women to recover and get the help that they need to lead healthier lives.