Tai Chi can improve Depression

Tai Chi can improve Depression and its Symptoms

The psychological benefits of physical exercise have been very well documented, but very few studies have checked and researched the possible mental health benefits of Tai Chi.  There has been a recent study which analyzed the effects of Tai Chi on emotional well-being.

The popularity of Tai Chi has spread worldwide over the past two decades. It is a slow motion moving meditative exercise for relaxation, health and self-defense.

According to the research conducted, Tai Chi may be associated with improvements in psychological well-being including reduced stress, anxiety, depression and mood disturbance, and increased self-esteem” among individuals with chronic physical illnesses as well as healthy individuals. There are certain populations which experienced the specific benefits of Tai Chi.

In the study conducted, there were several groups of individuals which included healthy individuals, elderly individuals with cardiovascular disease risk factors, adolescents with ADHD, obese women, and healthy adults, reported mood improvements associated with the practice of Tai Chi.  All the healthy elderly participants reported improved self-esteem. The team does not recommended that Tai chi has more benefits compared to other forms of exercise and mindfulness training.

Benefits of Tai Chi

  1. Practicing the precise movements also reduced stress and anxiety, researchers found.
  2. Millions of people practice Tai Chi every morning, and lot of people gets physical and mental health benefits.
  3. It is designed to promote relaxation and improve balance, strength and suppleness.

What is Tai Chi?

  1. Tai Chi refers to a set of 20 movements, learned over 8 weeks, that are a form of mindful exercise.
  2. The beneficial effects of Tai Chi Chih include lowering blood pressure and weight.
  3. “Chi” refers to the intrinsic universal energy present in all individuals.
  4. It is derived from Chinese martial art used both for exercise and for health benefits.

Support For Cancer Patients

Support for Cancer Patients is Available and it is Effective

Cancer is a disease which is often scary, life threatening and often causes people to become anxious. People if diagnosed with cancer often need assistance and support from all sorts of support groups including family and neighbors.

There are many Cancer Support helplines available which has licensed counselors to provide guidance, resources and support to callers with a variety of needs from getting information about cancer, identifying a local support group or just finding someone who is willing to listen.

Additional Cancer Support Helpline Services

  1. Connecting callers to local or national resources, including support groups, transportation services and other programs
  2. Short-term cancer counseling and emotional assistance
  3. Treatment decision planning
  4. Financial counseling regarding the costs of cancer and its treatments
  5. Specialized information on genetic counseling and pediatric oncology
  6. Access to an online distress screening program, CancerSupportSource
  7. General information about the Cancer Support Community

Most Cancer Council support services are provided at a local level in each and every country and state. Each state and territory Cancer Council offers a range of patient support facilities. They provide services such as:

  • counseling services
  • support groups and networks
  • education groups, programs and information
  • practical assistance
  • accommodation

When you need assistance or advice on cancer-related topics, many organizations will offer their expertise at no charge.

Depression increases risk of Dementia

Is Depression Known to Increase risk of Dementia Multifold?

Lot of things has been researched and studied in the field of mysteries of Alzheimer’s disease and other form of dementia. One of the very interesting areas of research is depression and its connection with dementia.  Depression is known to create impact in people with dementia in following two different ways.

  1. Individuals who have significant depression are at higher risk of developing dementia.
  2. People who are having dementia have depression too which if left untreated worsen confusion and forgetfulness further disrupting the quality of life.

Contribution from Studies on Connection of Depression and Dementia

Dementia and depression are mental health problems that are commonly encountered in neuropsychiatric practice in the elderly. Approximately, half of the patients with late-onset depression have cognitive impairment. The prevalence of depression in dementias has been reported to be between 9 and 68%. Depression has been both proposed to be a risk factor for dementia as well as a prodrome of dementia. The relationship between the two disorders is far from conclusive.

The relationship between depression and dementia is far from clear with the existing body of evidence pointing to a complex interaction. There is a need to sort out several methodological limitations that hinder us from elucidating the relationship. Some of these may include use of uniformed criteria for cognitive impairment, operationalizing, and validating criteria for depression in dementia, using better instruments to measure depression and cognitive impairment when they coexist. This area has enormous public health implications considering our growing elder population, and there is a need to understand the mechanisms involved in the association of these two disorders.

Relationship between these two major illnesses

There are several ways in which depression could be related to dementia and cognitive impairment. First, both being common conditions, they could occur together in the same individual by chance alone. Second, in some individuals, cognitive impairment and depressive symptoms could both be manifestations of the same brain disease. Third, individuals experiencing cognitive deficits could become depressed as a reaction to recognizing their losses and poor prognosis. Fourth, depression might unmask a dementia which had until then remained undetected. Fifth, depression itself could be an independent risk factor for the future development of dementia; this seems a more plausible explanation when the individual has had early-onset recurrent or chronic depression than if the depression occurs for the first time shortly before the dementia is manifested. Finally, these are not mutually exclusive possibilities.

Hearing Inner Voices

Simple tips to Handle Betrayal and Hearing Voices

Betrayal harms us more than anything else in the world.  It can go down till the deepest parts of us. Yet it is possible to reach those inner dark places which hide the darkest fears and desires. It is possible through gentle love and listening.

Whether it is a child suffering from sexual abuse or a partner dealing with domestic violence, the trauma is overwhelming since it involves someone with intimate relationship. Since you are dependent on the other person for food, shelter, emotional wellbeing, support, etc. the suffering received is also severe in the case of abuse.

In the cases of abuse and betrayal, many times people start hearing their names being called out from the back. When they turn around, there is no one. This hearing of voices if happens more than 2-3 times a week, is not normal and comes under the category of issue called hearing voices which has its roots in the betrayal and abuse you had suffered from deep inside.

When our experience of hearing voices goes beyond hearing names, then we tend to feel concerned. These in other words are also called auditory hallucinations which may not necessarily always be abnormal.

Differences in Voices origin

Different people hear voices from different places. Sometimes the voices appear to come through ears and sometimes, it is like coming from inside the head. There could be many voices or single voice coming from these places.  These voices can be both encouraging or intimidating coming either from someone you know in your life or from someone you never heard of.

Betrayal trauma can lead to visual and auditory hallucinations such as victims hearing the voice of their abuser.

Advice for those hearing voices

The following advice can help you recover from the deep hurt from these voices:


Accepting your voices and stop battling with yourself to avoid them, will make you in better position to understand them.


There are different ways you can gain control over your voices. You can distract yourself from the voices by listening to music through headphones. You can also start a dialogue with the voices you hear. If the voices you hear are threatening, tell them that they have no power over you.

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy – DBT for BPD and Mental Health Problems

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a type of CBT (cognitive behavioral treatment) that was initially developed to treat chronically suicidal individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). It has been over the time recognized as the gold standard psychological treatment for this population.

It is also effective in treating a wide range of other disorders such as substance dependence, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and eating disorders.

Although, DBT is the brainchild of Dr. Marsha Linehan, a clinical psychologist from Seattle, many others have contributed and the development of the treatment continues.

DBT has four sets of behavioural skills.

  1. Mindfulness – the practice of being fully aware at the current moment
  2. Distress Tolerance: tolerating pain in difficult situations, not change it
  3. Interpersonal Effectiveness: How to maintain self-respect
  4. Emotion Regulation: how to control emotions when you want to control them.

General Characteristics of DBT


DBT help the patient identify his or her strengths and build on them.

Cognitive-based – This type of therapy helps people find about their thoughts, beliefs, and assumptions that make life harder for them.

Collaborative: It requires constant attention to relationships between clients and staff. In DBT people are encouraged to work out problems in their relationships with their therapist and the therapists to do the same with them.

Diary cards

Specially formatted cards for tracking therapy interfering behaviors that distract or hinder a patient’s progress. Diary cards can be filled out daily, 2-3 times a day, or once per week.


Limitations of DBT

There are a few criticisms and limitations, if using DBT for treatment of depression and allied illnesses.

  1. Much of the available research on the efficacy of DBT included small sample sizes and focused on a specific sector of the mental health population. Critics argue more research should be done to determine whether DBT works well for those with varied or complex mental health concerns.
  2. DBT uses a detailed manual and requires solid training to implement. In many of the research studies where DBT was found to be effective. This does not necessarily indicate a weakness in the model itself but underscores the intensive amount of training required to deliver the services as designed. Therefore, expanding the availability of comprehensive training could be useful for community mental health organizations.

Depression makes world look Dull

Depression literally converts the world in all shades of Gray and Black

A depressed person often says that the world looks dull and gray and flowers no longer smell sweet. He might seem to speak figuratively, but now there is some truth in it. According to two recent studies conducted in Germany there are concrete evidences that sensory perception is diminished in depressed individuals.

The study was conducted by neuropsychiatrist Ludger Tebartz van Elst of the University of Freiburg. He tied up depressed patients and controlled subjects to a pattern electroretinograph which is a device to measure electrical signals in the retina. When viewing black-and-white checkerboard images, people who had depression showed lesser electrical impulses as compared to the other controlled subjects.

As per Tebartz van Elst, using this technique, it would be easy to diagnose depression without the need of the patient to open up verbally. They just need to keep their eyes  open and the test can be performed.

Top findings of this Study on Depression grays and blues


In the study below are the key findings which the scientists measured:

  1. People with major depression were not able to detect differences in black-and-white contrasts on the checkerboards.
  2. People with no depression were able to identify the changes in pattern and contrasts on checkerboard very effectively.
  3. The level of activity on the retina was lowest in the person with worst depression.
  4. The depressed patients had dramatically lower retinal responses to the varying black-and-white contrasts than healthy individuals.
  5. The results held regardless of whether patients were taking antidepressants.

The retina ECG shows the response of neurons inside the retinal cells. It is not the conscious vision, but a very much earlier response of the retina to changing patterns.

Best tips to Deal with Depression and its Gray World

Everyone wants to know the ways to get out of the blues and gray of depression and conquer it from the bottom. But, rarely, we find something which can do this miracle. Here are some tips to perform this action with ease and speed.

  1. Bond with mother nature

Do not ever underestimate the healing power of the natural world. You need to be connected to Earth and it is crucially important to restore the energy levels by staying connected.  The great outdoors is a very precious stress-free zone. Without a wifi zone, cell phones buzzing, cameras, noise, etc. all around us, we are bound to get the time of the day.

Few tips to consider is to head to a park during lunch, exercise outside rather than in a gym, and plan regular weekends away to escape the oppressive urban jungle.


  1. Turn off the TV

Switch off the idiot box to stop feeling like an idiot all the time.  TV according to many studies is like a drug which can change your brain chemistry. If you can’t stop watching TV altogether at least, try to cut down on your consumption. You should see positive, funny, uplifting or educational stuff on TV sometime, but limit that too.


  1. Get involved


There is nothing which can be achieved by sitting and cribbing about global issues and concerns at hand. There are many such issues from which you can choose one and concentrate your energy in that cause instead of putting only thoughts on multitude of issues. Dwelling on the many urgent global issues isn’t going to help you or anyone else. If you care or concern about animal cruelty, you could offer to help out at your local shelter.

So stay involved and do not doubt about the things which a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can do to change the world.

  1. Nurture yourself

Believe in yourself and always do things to reward and nurture yourself. Exercise, sleep and eat well. Do what you love. Give yourself a break. Be your own best friend. Dancing around your living room to uplifting music will give you an instant energy and endorphin boost. Sing in the shower. Smile even if you don’t feel like it.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

The ALS The Ice Bucket Challenge or simply Ice bucket challenge is an adventurous activity in which the person accepts the challenge and dumps a bucket of ice water on his head. This activity was created to promote awareness and knowledge of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS. It included the donations for the cause of the disease and raised millions in a span of a month. This challenge became viral on the internet and became popular world over during July 2014 to August 2014.

In the US and UK, many people accepted the challenge while many others donated the money to the Ice Bucket challenge cause – the ALS organization.

Modus Operandi of ALS challenge

In the ALS challenge people nominate others to participate in the challenge. The participants who are nominated accepts the challenge and within 24 hours, they need to pour ice water over their heads and upload the video of the same on the social media sites. If they are not accepting the challenge, they need to donate 100 USD to the ALS cause. They can nominate others for accepting the challenge before they complete the challenge themselves. In this way the chain going on.

Popularity of the challenge

The challenge first came into media attention on 30th June 2014, when Golf channel performed the ALS ice bucket challenge live on the show. Some time later, other TV show hosts also took the challenge and depicted the popularity it raised.

Soon the ALSO challenge raised in popularity with celebrities, politicians and athletes posting ALS challenge videos of social media or television. There were about 1.2 million video shared about this on Facebook from June 1 till August 13. There was a lot of criticism which this challenge brought with itself with people claiming using fun to contribute donation for a rather serious illness.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge fundraising campaign raised about $15.6 million so far for the research on ALS. A total of 307,598 new donors were involved. Before this event, the ALS has received about $2.8 million during the same time last year.

Easy and simple ways to deal with Stress and fatigue

In this modern era, everything is moving with a pace that is hard to compete. Thus, in order to compete with the world and its pace, one has to exert themselves to the utmost limit. The consequence of this over exertion is stress.

Stress is a particular feeling or a state in which the mind thinks of many things at once, but the body is incapable of doing them, in other words, stress can be defined as the position, where our mind gets all saturated and tired and doesn’t wants to be worked anymore.

Stress has a lot of disadvantages and harmful effects on our body. You can easily estimate the condition that when the brain itself gets saturated, what effect it will have on the functioning of other parts of the body. Stress leads to many diseases and disorders in our body. Apart from that stress also makes us irritated and impatient to a great extent.

Diseases and symptoms by stress:

Stress leads diseases like headaches, body ache, high blood pressure etc; and symptoms like weakness or fatigue and many more.

Fatigue is also a condition in which the body gets all exhausted and weak. It is more or less like weakness where the body looses the ability to function properly. It is a state in which the body becomes lethargic and the person feels sleepy all the time.


Exercises for bursting stress can also help in relieving from fatigue.

Eating balanced diet with proper nutrition can also help in reducing the fatigue effect.

Taking extra nutrients supplements in order to suffice the deficiency of certain nutrients may work wonders for your stressed out body.

Practicing Yoga can also help in lowering the level of stress as well as the degree of fatigue in your body.

Brief Therapy Works for Mental Disorders in Many Cases

What this therapy is about

One unique form of therapy that can work to help control mental disorders is brief therapy. This is a kind of therapy where it focuses on a direct control of a specific problem that is causing a mental disorder to be prevalent. This works with a direct approach to help control a disorder to make it easier for a person to potentially be controlled.

The essential point about this is that it works to try and get a mental disorder reviewed and controlled sooner. This may work to help improve a person’s mental health in the long run.

Why this therapy is popular

The big point about the use of brief therapy is that it is used to help find a problem as soon as possible. This works less with the problem of a mental disorder in mind and more with controlling the cause of the problem and seeing what can be done to help with keeping it under control. This is an interesting point that shows how well a person’s mental condition can be adjusted.

Does it work?

There are some reports that suggest how brief therapy may work to help control a person’s phobia or other fear or mental disorder relating to anxiety in a week’s time. This is a great point that might be useful for anyone who needs to get a crippling mental block from taking over one’s life.

The interesting thing about brief therapy is that it may work to control depression. It is possible for depression to be controlled through brief therapy in about a month’s time. This is needed because it will work to help with improving a person’s self esteem over a good period of time. It can be used as a means of helping to keep the problem from being worse and could be used in some of the more severe cases of depression.