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Brain Changes that Lead to Depression and Addiction can be Harnessed for Healing

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Lynette Louise aka The Brain Broad       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink

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From flickr.com: Use your brain and behavior to successfully ease symptoms of depression and avoid addiction. {MID-239193}
Use your brain and behavior to successfully ease symptoms of depression and avoid addiction.
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There is an important thing happening in the world. Mental illness is slowly becoming less of a hidden secret while more and more people speak up and out, insisting on being heard and on erasing the cruel stigma around most invisible brain dysfunctions. This is good. But we must be careful. Keep an eye on cultivating answer-oriented frames of mind rather than encourage the present trend of creating fame that celebrates and accommodates each diagnosis for its challenges. A limelight of pity creates value in being broken and increases the person's problems rather than diminishing them.

Let me offer some answers.

For comprehension more detailed, let me focus on depression in women for a minute.

The two most challenging yet effective times to treat depression (particularly in women and girls) is during the teenage years and menopause. This is largely due to the immense amount of reorganizing your body and brain (and, hence, your hormones) are already engaged in. This is a time when the brain (even more than the body) seeks to be shown how to grow healthier. This is a time when help is desired and more easily accepted when presented in the right light. But it is also a time when greater damage is easy to inflict via misinformation from propaganda via marketing, social sharing, political programs, religions etc. These lead to unhelpful expectations and beliefs.

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During these periods -- again, the teen years and menopause -- the company of other women, medical professionals, group therapy, news, media marketing, etc., tends to reinforce the misery descending upon bodies and brains that are reorganizing themselves for the next stage of life.

Nothing magnifies pain like public opinion. Especially when at the same time that women are being told they will suffer, they are also being treated as if this depression is irritating and they should just get over it. This catch 22 is the crux of the complication in helping women stabilize.

I travel the globe working effectively with people who have depression (along with all kinds of other mental-health challenges) and I also raised eight children -- four girls and four boys, six adopted and all with varying degrees of abuse and mental-health challenges as part of their story -- and so I am uniquely qualified to understand the problem of depression regardless of culture.

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Around the world depression is prevalent. We're talking about men and women now, boys and girls. Often people want to know why. Well, given the degree to which movement offsets depression and the present day rise in sedentary behavior amongst young people, given the changes in brain-wave behavior caused by screen usage and social-network addiction, given the vulnerable nature of teens to social opinions and the immediacy and reach of social-network bullying worldwide, given the high levels of state-change medicinal usage in elementary students effectively preventing the natural maturation of the brain, widespread depression is more than an overdiagnosis, it is inevitable.

However, I don't want to paint a bleak picture, though I do want to point out the bleak and dangerous nature of current trends in order to help us change things for the better.

That is my job. Changing things for the better. That is my job and I am good at it. Not only because of my own personal history with mental health and abuse, and not only because of my history as a mom, but because it has been my passion and motivator from the day my memories begin.

As a professional, I work with teens and their families all around the world, and as a mom I helped guide eight children into adulthood, navigating depression and avoiding addictions for my high-risk teens.

Every story is different. Every culture carries its own tools and pitfalls. Every family has a unique history. Every person is genuinely alone with their thoughts. BUT we all have brains and bodies that work in pretty much the same way. So I have learned a few things that, when taken home and tailored to fit your unique goals and abilities, work for everyone.

I share these things everywhere and often. I write books, articles, and shows. I speak, perform, and invent new ways to give this information away.

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I want to share one of those things here with you now. Specific information for anyone with depression, avoiding addiction or suicide. This is something I see families worldwide struggle to accept and yet it is monumentally important. It is a lifesaving understanding, every time.

To help: There is really no replacing a change of environment and a restructuring of the roles everyone in the family is playing.

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Lynette Louise aka THE BRAIN BROAD is doubly board certified in Neurofeedback and has an MS. She is studying for her PhD in Clinical Psychology with a specialty in Psychophysiology at Saybrook University Global mental health expert Lynette (more...)

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