Tag Archives: mental illness

Stress and what it does to you and your body !!!


Let’s start at the top; the brain. First, let’s differentiate good stress from bad stress. Typically, there are two types of stress: acute and chronic. Acute stress is a reaction to an immediate threat. That threat can feel like a physical or an emotional threat. It causes our brain to go into flight, fight or freeze mode. Once the threat passes, our stress hormones return to normal and we feel okay. Sometimes acute stress revs up the brain to perform at a peak level, kind of like revving an engine before the start of a race.

Chronic stress, the kind we face daily, is what tends to cause the real damage. According to an article by Deane Alban, 90 percent of doctors’ visits are for stress-related health complaints. Chronic stress makes you more vulnerable to anything ranging from the common cold to cancer. The article goes on to say that “the non-stop elevation of stress hormones not only makes your body sick, it negatively impacts your brain as well.”

Stress has many hidden negative consequences, because it affects the brain: High chronic stress increases the stress hormone cortisol, which creates a surplus of the neurotransmitter glutamate. Glutamate creates free radicals that attack brain cells in a similar way that oxygen attacks metal and creates rust.

Stress can also decrease or stop the production of new brain cells. The brain cell activity described is not what we can see so we are clueless to some of these damaging affects until we start to experience the signs and symptoms such as increased depression, cycles of anxiety and worry, increased risk of all kinds of mental illnesses, emotional dysregulation (when we feel we can cry at the drop of a hat or be fine one minute, enraged the next), increased forgetfulness, and/or basically feeling stupid.

A stressed woman biting her first.

Untitled by Serena West

Stress literally allows toxins into the brain that can shrink our brain, it can lead to higher risk of dementia and/or Alzheimer’s. Yet, according to Alban, Alzheimer’s disease is the number one health fear of American adults and the sixth leading cause of death. Stress leads to premature aging on a cellular level. As a psychologist who specializes in trauma, I’m especially interested in the part of the brain called the amygdala. It’s the area in the brain where we lose the ability to be present, and we are in fight, flight or freeze mode.

According to an article by Carolyn Gregoire from the Huffington Post, increased cortisol hampers the activity of the hippocampus (an area of the brain associated with learning, memory and emotion), and it increases the size and activity of the amygdala, the brains center where we hold our unprocessed emotions, thoughts and body sensations. If stress increases the activity in this part of the brain, then that could mean we are in a heightened state of reactivity to a perceived threat. This increases our emotional reactions and decreases the ability to have rational thoughts and take in new information. It takes a lot more energy for the brain to be in flight, fight or freeze mode then to be calm and relaxed. As stated earlier, the ways in which stress affects the brain is extensive. We could go more in depth, but these are some of the common ways stress affects the brain and therefore, affects our daily lives and journey of healing.

There is no way to make recommendations as to how to manage stress and decrease the negative effects on the brain without taking in the entire mind, body, spirit approach to wellness. I will be going much more in depth in the next two parts of this blog; for now, a good place to start would be to:

  1. Reconnect to your spiritual life and belief system.
  2. Incorporate yoga and/or meditation to your exercise regime.
  3. Consult with a nutritionist who can advise you on proper nutrition and appropriate goals for mindful eating.
  4. Consult with a doctor (my preference would be an Ayurveda specialist or Naturopathic Doctor) who can/will go more in depth with proper testing and recommendations for managing stress. Checking your adrenals and cortisol levels will be important in the process of decreasing the effects of stress on the brain and body.
  5. Consult with a professional counselor who can work with you on identifying and managing your stress.
  6. Engage in a healing process that can benefit you inside and out.

As we are all on our journey of healing, we face a variety of challenges consisting of health, family, relational, financial, spiritual, and emotional experiences.


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Types of Weight Loss Procedures that can save your life.

Weight loss although has risks, can be a benefits including curing diabetes, lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, easy joints and arthritis pain, digestive issues. Asthma and lung disease, sleep apnea, pre diabetes, Hepatic Steatosis, non alcohol related cirrhosis, PCOS for infertility, Joint disease, pseudotumor cerebri, uniary incontinense, venous stasis disease which causes swelling and varicose veins, Depression and mental illness, Quality of life. Longer life.
LAGB:
The Lap Band, adjustable Banding System. Placement of a flexible silicone band around the upper part of the stomach. the result is your not as hungry, feels fuller faster and eats less. there is a port left under the skin, so the Doctor can tighten the band or make it looser.

LRYGB, Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric Bypass, t in involves the creation of a small capacity stomach pouch and a small outlet from the pouch directly into the small intestine, where nutrients are absorbed. The pouch will hold less then the previous stomach, can fee satisfied sooner, eats, Hormonal issues make a difference in your calories being burned.

LSG, Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, This removes a large portion of the stomach, the remaining portion of the stomach is formed into a long tube that is unable to enlarge or balloon up with food. The restriction reduces the amount a person can eat and causes satiety with less food.

MGB, Mini-Gastric Bypass or loop Gastric Bypass is a laparoscopic gastric bypass the involves connecting a loop of the small intestine to a small stomach ouch, creating the same sense of satiety and reduced hunger This procedure tissue connection instead of two and can be performed out patient.

The Duodenal Switch, This procedure involves a more complex re-routing of the intestines, that results in reduced stomach capacity and reduced nutrient absorption, It is the most invasive of the procedures and has the most risks but it may still have a role as a revisional procedure of for people with severe diabetes and very high BM!.

Band with imbringcation, This procedure which adds an imbrication or surgical in -folding and tightening of the stomach, to the placement of any adjustable gastric band. this is also out patient procedure it may improve weight loss produce faster results over LAGB Alone.

The laparoscopic improvement allow surgeons to spend less time in operating room and usually can go home that day.

In order the Qualify you must have a approval from a bariatric surgeon, the surgery center, BMI over 55. No history of Pulmonary hypertension, anesthia approval, sleep apnea under control
If you are over 65 most likely you won’t qualify.
You may want to keep your decision to have bariatric surgery to your self, the last thing you need is others opinions, it just between you and your Dr. You can even go under another name in the hospital to protect your privacy, but if you want to share your decision, make sure its with positive people that will support you in your journey and help you in your recovery.

A fantastic Book to read which gives you the in’s and outs, pro’s and con’s to any Gastric surgery. It is called A Sasse Guide, Outpatient Weight loss surgery, Dr Sasse is a highly experienced and accomplished bariatric surgeon, author expert and featured speaker national in the field of Weight reduction, bariatric medicine, remission of diabetes and surgery.

I have met him personally and just felt comfortable with his knowledge, He has refused patients because they don’t qualify, which I think is good, instead of just making the money. His office staff is incredible, kind and not judgmental. You can order the book off Amazon.com
If you would like to contact his office for their information conferences or a consultation the phone number is 775-7999. He resides in Reno, NV

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What is an Invisible Disability?

March30,2016
What is an Invisible Disability?
Invisible Disabilities Association – InvisibleDisabilities.org

By Guest Blogger Wayne Connell, Founder, Invisible Disabilities Association

What is an “invisible disability?” Is it a specific illness or condition, such as multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, bipolar disorder, diabetes, a Chiari malformation or syringomyelia? Is it the symptoms of an illness or disability, such as pain or fatigue or neuropathy or brain fog? Why do we even use the phrase or where did it come from? Isn’t a disability just a disability, no matter if you can see it or not? Are people treated differently because their disability manifests itself visibly? Is having a disability different from being disabled? All great questions! Is someone, who has an illness or is in pain or has a disability or is disabled, a bad person who should be treated like a lesser human? I can answer that one. NO!

Twenty years ago in 1996, my wife, Sherri, coined the term “invisible disability.” Why did she come up with it? After receiving a diagnosis of primary progressive multiple sclerosis and chronic late stage Lyme disease in 1991, at the young age of 27, Sherri endured the stares and accusations and disbelief of strangers and friends that questioned how she could be disabled and still walk with seemingly unapparent outward signs of her disabilities. People would often scream at her when she parked in an accessible space or ignore her when she collapsed on the floor of a department store. So the phrase, “I have an invisible disability,” became an apt description of what she was living with.

As a tech guy, I decided to use some of Sherri’s pamphlets she wrote to help friends and family better understand what she was going through such as “Multiple What? Untangling the Perplexities of Multiple Sclerosis” and “Don’t Judge by Appearances – Parking with Invisible Disabilities” and created the InvisibleDisabilities.org website. That is when The Invisible Disabilities Advocate® was launched (which became the Invisible Disabilities® Association (IDA)). Almost immediately, 25,000 people a month started coming to IDA’s website and said that we put into words what they had been trying to tell their friends and families. “Invisible disabilities” progressed from a very descriptive term to an international organization and movement.

Of course, the question most-asked of our organization is, “what is an ‘invisible disability?’” In general, the term “disability” is often used to describe an ongoing physical challenge. This could be a bump in life that can be well-managed or a mountain that creates serious changes and loss. Either way, this term should not be used to describe a person as weaker or lesser than anyone else! Every person has a purpose, special uniqueness and value, no matter what hurdles they may face.

In addition, just because a person has a disability does not mean they are disabled. Many living with these challenges are still fully active in their work, families, sports or hobbies. Some with disabilities are able to work full or part time, but struggle to get through their day, with little or no energy for other things. Others are unable to maintain gainful or substantial employment due to their disability, have trouble with daily living activities and/or need assistance with their care.

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), an individual with a disability is a person who: has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; has a record of such an impairment; or is regarded as having such an impairment.

Furthermore, “A person is considered to have a disability if he or she has difficulty performing certain functions (seeing, hearing, talking, walking, climbing stairs and lifting and carrying), or has difficulty performing activities of daily living, or has difficulty with certain social roles (doing school work for children, working at a job and around the house for adults).”

Often people think the term “disability” only refers to people using a wheelchair or walker. On the contrary, the 1994-1995 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) found that 26 million Americans (almost one in 10) were considered to have a severe disability, while only 1.8 million used a wheelchair and 5.2 million used a cane, crutches or walker. In other words, 74 percent of Americans who live with a severe disability do not use such devices. Therefore, a disability cannot be determined solely on whether or not a person uses assistive equipment.

The term “invisible disability” refers to symptoms such as debilitating pain, fatigue, dizziness, cognitive dysfunctions, brain injuries, learning differences and mental health disorders, as well as hearing and vision impairments. These are not always obvious to the onlooker, but can sometimes or always limit daily activities, range from mild challenges to severe limitations and vary from person to person.

Also, someone who has a visible impairment or uses an assistive device such as a wheelchair, walker or cane can also have an invisible disability. For example, whether or not a person utilizes an assistive device, if they are debilitated by such symptoms as described above, they live with an invisible disability.

Unfortunately, people often judge others by what they see and often conclude a person can or cannot do something by the way they look. This can be equally frustrating for those who may appear unable, but are perfectly capable, as well as those who appear able, but are not.

International Disability expert Joni Eareckson Tada explained it well when she told someone living with debilitating fatigue, “people have such high expectations of folks like you [with invisible disabilities], like, ‘come on, get your act together.’ But they have such low expectations of folks like me in wheelchairs, as though it’s expected that we can’t do much.”

The bottom line is that everyone with a disability is different, with varying challenges and needs, as well as abilities and attributes. Thus, we all should learn to listen with our ears, instead of judging with our eyes.

At the Invisible Disabilities® Association, we do not maintain a list of specific illnesses and diagnoses that are considered invisible disabilities. There are thousands of illnesses, disorders, diseases, dysfunctions, genetic defects, impairments and injuries that can be debilitating. Therefore, all conditions that are debilitating are included when we talk about invisible disabilities. However, our focus is not to attempt to provide a vast amount of information about thousands of specific conditions (there are plenty of amazing organizations that do that).

IDA is here to provide awareness, education, connection and support for everyone who lives with a debilitating condition. We do this by offering articles, pamphlets, books, resources, radio interviews, video, seminars, symposiums and more to give hope and compassion to all living with invisible disabilities as well as information for loved ones to better understand.

IDA’s mission is to encourage, educate and connect people and organizations touched by illness, pain and disability around the globe. Hard to believe it has been twenty years yet there is still so much more work to do. Will you join us on this journey and envision a world where people living with illness, pain and disability will be Invisible No More®?
About the Guest Blogger

Wayne Connell, the founder and president of the Invisible Disabilities® Association (IDA), established IDA twenty years ago in 1996 out of the desire to educate friends and family about his wife’s debilitating illness. Soon afterwards, people around the globe began sending emails sharing how IDA had changed their relationships with their loved ones. He is co-author of the book, “But You LOOK Good, How to Encourage and Understand People Living with Illness and Pain.” Wayne’s background fueled his passion for helping people living with illness, pain and disability. His experience includes that of a professional, multitasking husband caregiver with an extensive background in management, media and technology. This man on a mission quickly launched IDA into a world-wide outreach for millions living with invisible disabilities.

Make sure you check out IDA’s website for additional resources and stories at www.InvisibleDisabilities.org. Share your personal video story with us at www.InvisibleNoMore.tv. You can also be part of other people’s stories by joining them at www.Facebook.com/invisibledisabilities or becoming a member of InvisibleDisabilities.Inspire.com. Join IDA at our 2nd annual Brain IDEAS Symposium on August 5th. Invisible Disabilities Week is Oct 16 through 22, 2016. Our 9th Annual Awards Gala, “Jazzed About You” will be Octob

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