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Like everyone, I was shocked and saddened by the death of famous comedian and actor Robin Williams. He was my generation's Charlie Chaplin. His movies were part of the backdrop of my generation's childhood, adolecence, and early adulthood. Over the past days, I have watched the many touching tributes to him, but I have discovered a disturbing trend in the comments of those who knew him well. Many of those who knew him for countless years expressed that they did not see his suicide coming, that he had his addictions under control, and that they did not know he was in such pain. One close friend of his, actor Rob Schneider expressed concern that Williams had been taking a Parkinson's disease drug that had suicide listed as a side effect. This struck a nerve with me. The media has reported VERY LITTLE on this VERY IMPORTANT link. This information is especially pertinent to those of us that have mental health issues. Prescription drugs have side effects sometimes very grave ones, and god only knows how many deaths are chalked up to "depression" when in actuality it is the pharmaceutical companies that should be held accountable. I have had my own personal experiences with the side effects of depression/anxiety medication. Some medications can and do make people who are normally not suicidal have suicidal thoughts. The sad thing is they make so much money off of the meds there has to be a class action lawsuit for these pills to be taken off the market. These pills are a double edged sword. In many cases there is a severe need for a medication, any medication to remove the pain associated with mental and physical illnesses. On the other edge of the sword is we do not know the the long term effects of these fairly new medications. We have to keep ourselves informed and make sure the media exposes the dangers of medications. Few people seem aware but Parkinson's and depression are also LINKED. It is believed that the lower levels of seretonin play a role in this. Now with this in mind, I feel it appropriate to highlight (in honor of Robin Williams)  NON MEDICINAL ways to increase your serotonin so you can theoretically decrease your chances of developing Parkinsons. Naturally. No drugs. Here are the ones I have found after scouring the internet. THINKING POSITIVE THOUGHTS- The chicken before the egg? Does serotonin cause you to be positive or does thinking positive cause you to produce serotonin. Either way MOOD THERAPY helps. EXPOSURE TO LIGHT. Sunlight, light baths. Many people with depression/anxiety have vitamin D deficiency and need more exposure to light. EXERCISE- Face it, it FLOODS your brain with happy chemicals, the ones you need, and for those of us with anxiety that fight and flight response builds up a need to release tension, exercise helps you work it out. DIET- eating foods that are serotonin boosters, foods rich in tryptophan, food low in sugar,caffiene, syrups, and saturated fats.  One thing that I made the decision to do after hearing this information in light of what I believe to be the big pharma murder of Robin Williams, was to purchase a treadmill. Everyday when I walk on it, I will remember that I am walking to naturally beat these mental illnesses that have robbed so many of their health and happiness. Every step, though simple, is like a little kick in the face of those horrible people that allow medications to KILL PEOPLE and not take them off the market because they care more about stock value than moral values. Maybe that sounds extreme, but over the course of 8 years I was put on zanax, wellbutrin, lexapro, zoloft, prozac, lithium, and another one I don't remember the name of because it has been so long, and all of those before the age of 30. That is extreme. The pill culture is extreme. Now, if you can find a pill that works, and leaves you with no side effects keep taking it, you found the magic pill. I know for many of us that has yet to happen, and won't. The option is there and I am thankful for that, but the risks are there too and the media and our society need to make sure that those risks are highlighted and addressed especially when the opportunity presents itself. The suspicious death of Robin Williams gave us that opportunity and we should be asking why. Not why did he do it, but why did this side effect happen to him and noone talked about. After all he did for others, we owe that to him. 

Published in Diary
Sunday, 07 October 2012 00:16

Music, Media and Anxiety

Anxiety and Panic Attacks are the great levelers of humankind. No matter who you are, your socioeconomic status...dealing with anxiety hurts and can derail your entire life. My name is Carolan Deacon and I have had GAD for most of my adult life. Not much anymore though...I found powerful tools that worked for me and am so grateful. I wish that I had known drug-free help for anxiety existed years ago. I suffered needlessly. So, if I can possibly help shorten your path to happy peace by sharing these is my honor and my privilege.

I am going to share one specific tool that has helped me immensely in leaving panic attacks behind for good!

Pay attention to the type of media you surround yourself with. I am not talking about simply avoiding horror films. I am talking about minding what you read, watch and listen to. It matters because your brain is not a computer that stores data. You have emotions and the media that you surround yourself with has emotional baggage with it that you take in with it. It affects your mind, how you feel, your cardiovascular system, your nervous system…everything is connected. When I first realized the connection between the music I happened to be listening to and the thoughts that were at the forefront of my mind...I decided to take extra care in the types of media I ingested. It makes a HUGE difference in how you feel.

Tagged as: anxiety , music

Published in Diary

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We are a community of people struggling with mental health issues, you are not alone!