Fighting Stigmas, Enforcing Changes, Passing Classes

Copyright 2012 © Created by Caitlin Cunningham Disclaimer.

Alternative Treatments

Don’t like traditional approaches? There are other things that you can do that might make you feel better. These are very helpful for managing symptoms.,

Light therapy: Get the winter blues? Try getting a lamp that generates false-sunlight. Although expensive, it can help to reduce some of the “blah” feeling you may get. Even if it doesn't work the lamps really brighten up dorm rooms.

Volunteer work: This can make you feel useful, involved, important, and like you make a difference. Volunteering, even only every once in a while, can have great effects on your self esteem. Get involved in whatever groups you like. I like to work with children and animals because they think I’m the coolest person ever just because I'm nice to them. Other people like to work with the homeless or other people with mental illnesses.

Art therapy: Drawing, painting, writing, or whatever form of expression you prefer is perfect. It often helps to get negative emotions out of your heart and onto paper instead. It can also be helpful to immortalize good emotions and look at it when you feel down.

Hard work: This sounds counterintuitive but working with your hands and working up a sweat can be a great feeling. It is somewhat primal, but building things, moving, lifting, etc, give your brain something to focus on and also gives you a feeling of accomplishment. Personally, I know it's been a good day if I was my hands and the soap turns back from the grease.

Aromatherapy: This one is great for managing symptoms of mental illnesses. Lavender really does help you sleep in many cases. Citrus can help wake you up.

Eat right: When your diet is poor the first thing your brain does is turn off "unnecessary" functions such as mood regulation. Make sure you eat lunch ad dinner and get some iron and some fruits at the minimum. Another thing that had been shown to help is to switch from soda to water. Drinking more water makes you feel better and the sugar in soda can bring you down. This one is tough in college. I'm terrible at it. To help, I host Friday Night Diners where I cook a full meal for all my friends. This ensures that I get at least one great meal a week and gets me to practice cooking so that I can more easily cook for myself during the week.

Quit drinking: Alcohol is a depressant. It makes you feel sick in the morning and it can make you miserable at the time if you over do it. Moreover it messes with your body if you take it in conjunction with most psych meds.

Electro-Convulsive Therapy: aka ECT has proven to be effective for people with severe depression. However, patients can expect to lose about 2 months of their memory. Since it is impossible to lose so much memory and remain in school, I will not discuss this further. If you would like more information please click here.

Transcrianial Magnetic Stimulation: Abbreviated TMS, this is the newest of the treatments listed here. It uses a powerful magnet to stimulate your neurons. For more information, see my blog.

“If you're going through hell, keep going.”

          Winston Churchill