Showing posts from June, 2023

Understanding the Different Types of Depression

     Depression is not a one-size-fits-all diagnosis. It presents in a variety of forms, each with its own set of symptoms, triggers, and treatment approaches. Here's an overview of some of the most common types of depression: 1. **Major Depressive Disorder (MDD):** Also known as clinical depression, MDD is characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of interest in activities that were once enjoyed. Physical symptoms such as changes in appetite or sleep can also occur. For a diagnosis of MDD, symptoms must be present most of the day, nearly every day for at least two weeks. It was never disclosed to me what my diagnosis was completely. I am currently taking an antidepressant for depression and one other side effect. After my chemo over the course of 4 months, I became unable to think clearly and became irritable after 5 or 10 minutes of trying to figure anything out.  Somewhere in here is where I was diagnosed. I did have issues getting out of bed for

Active Listening: The Key to Better Relationships

     In an age where distractions are abundant, and our attention spans are getting shorter than ever, the act of listening is a skill that cannot be undervalued. Active listening goes beyond just hearing words; it involves fully understanding, processing, and engaging in a conversation. In this post, we will delve into the significance of active listening and how it can be the key to building better relationships. Understanding Active Listening:      Active listening is a communication technique that requires the listener to fully concentrate, understand, respond, and remember what is being said in a conversation. It’s an intentional effort to be present and engaged with the speaker, going beyond just hearing their words.     One of the things that I've found myself doing even, is pulling out my cell phone to attend to a money-generating program. Or studying while the family unit is watching TV. Each of these was complained about. Mostly when I'm doing these activities, I'

Questions not being answered? Ask me to research something for you

Hello everyone, This will not be my usual posts, but I am curious if anyone has questions, they need help finding the answers to. If this fits something you're trying to figure out, comment here, and I will do some research for you or with you. My background is 20 years in IT and 10 years in restaurant management. This combination allowed me to see a wide range of social interactions, solve problems in the IT world, and how to manage fluctuating availabilities with teenage through elder adults and all ages of people. I believe this uniquely qualifies me to tackle just about any subject. I am a master of none, except for maybe IT. But a Jack of all trades. Which is better than a master of one. At least the saying goes. It fits I believe. I've been called a generalist.  In about a month, I am going to the commencement of my bachelor's degree in IT. Sort of odd that the commencement happens before I actually graduate. But I'm not afraid of being anywhere close to failing a

5 Easy Daily Habits That Can Help Alleviate Depression

 Title: 5 Easy Daily Habits That Can Help Alleviate Depression Depression is a mental health disorder that can profoundly affect one's quality of life. While professional treatment is essential for moderate to severe depression, incorporating certain daily habits can be beneficial in managing mild symptoms and improving overall mental health.  During my flight with AML cancer that began in 2019, I became severely depressed and spent months trying to get help for that. My cancer doctors didn't seem to want to help me in that direction. A mostly hands-off, you can deal with that on your own attitude was present with most of the doctors and medical staff I had been working with.  Not only was I fighting depression, but also brain fog, and slowness of thought. I just didn't have clarity. So I looked up medical journals related to brain fog and chemo-related side effects.  An additional vector of chemo affects the white matter of the brain, contributing to the "Chemo Fog&qu

Building Emotional Connection: The Power of Empathy

Emotional connection is the glue that holds relationships together. It makes our interactions with others rich, fulfilling, and meaningful. Empathy stands as one of the most powerful tools we can use to build emotional connections. In this post, we will explore how to utilize empathy to foster emotional connections. For many people, empathy and social interaction are awkward and difficult at best. So these people that I am speaking of, they are either on a spectrum or possibly just neural divergent. It is my opinion that no matter who you are you have some level of divergence and or percentage of the spectrum of inability to communicate or understand others reasonably.  **What is Empathy?** Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. It's about putting yourself in someone else's shoes and connecting with them emotionally. Empathy involves recognizing the emotions in others and communicating that understanding back to them. People who are awkwa

The Science of Depression: What Happens in Your Brain?

Depression is a complex mental health condition that has been linked to various factors, including genetic predisposition, environmental stressors, nutritional deficiencies, and chemical imbalances in the brain. But what exactly happens in your brain when you're dealing with depression?  I recently was treated for leukemia a few years ago and received stem cells on December 24 of 2019. The recovery from that was kind of hideous with some GVHD (Graft vs Host Disease). And spending so much time off from work, which ended up being kind of permanent for the moment, cause changes in diet, and depression, which most likely lead to more issues with my cognitive decline. One of the things I started doing was researching medical papers to see if there was anything about repairing the brain matter that gets destroyed during chemo. And one of the papers led me to the answer of what was similar to Adderall, Davis, et. al., (2013) wrote about different medications and also more in terms of othe

48 Laws of Power and "Never outshine the master"

I was thinking this morning, sort of normal for me to reflect often... And I remembered some of the 48 Laws of Power. I also listened to an interview with the writer recently as well. In this interview, he recalled writing about "never outshine the master". And if you're smart about something, I agree you don't want to just run around outshining all your friends to the point where they don't wanna spend time around you. It's just not pleasant and it's not sociable. Well, he also mentioned that there was a king's helper (not sure of the exact wording here) but the helper wanted to set up a lavish event and ingratiate himself with the king and make it easier for himself. However, the day after the event he was thrown in jail and spent the rest of his life there. The king didn't like being outshone. Then the author made the correlation that even in today's age, people in power of any sort, management, ownership, and employers in general, have egos

The Art of Meaningful Conversation: A Step-by-step Guides

One of the things I struggle with is knowing what is interesting to other people compared to what I think is interesting. I think a massive amount of subjects are trivial, and I don't tend to think about or talk about it. Recently, what I've come to realize is that, even though I think it is trivial, it could be super helpful for someone else to hear or read. We are all at different stages of learning about ourselves and the world around us. Engaging in meaningful conversations is a skill that requires practice and use, much like any other. Conversations allow us to better understand the perspectives of others, make deeper connections, and help us grow both personally and professionally. Here's a step-by-step guide to aid you in mastering the art of meaningful conversation. These steps are collected from things I've learned over the years.  Step 1: Be Curious (The Importance of Being Curious, n.d.) Curiosity is the starting point of meaningful conversation. Enter every

The Relationship Between Depression and Sleep

     Sleep disturbances and depression have a complex, bidirectional relationship – not only can depression cause sleep problems, but chronic sleep issues can also lead to depression. Understanding this relationship is crucial as it helps us to establish effective strategies for managing both conditions.       There were several months a few years ago when I was in the hospital for weeks on end being treated for leukemia. And approaching that time, and during my hospital stay, I began sleeping more and more which was due to low hemoglobin. But there are other things that interrupt sleep patterns as well. In the hospital, I slept upwards of 20 hours per day if I could. They constantly wake you up though.      Part of the reason I slept so much in the hospital was because they were giving me pain medication instead of treating my worsening sciatica. So there's something to be said for speaking up and making sure that doctors treat symptoms that you deem important to yourself. Other

Harnessing Digital Presence: Consistently Sharing My Thoughts and Advice

     In today's fast-paced digital world, where screens take up a large chunk of our waking hours, creating a vibrant, impactful online presence is no longer a luxury but a necessity. As someone who cares deeply about the people I interact with and the communities I reach, I've often wished I had a better handle on digital presence. I'm not just referring to mastering the tools of the trade, but also consistently producing my thoughts, translating them into actionable advice for my readers.       The idea of being 'digitally present' extends beyond mere online activity. It involves crafting a digital persona that resonates with authenticity and delivers value to its audience. At the heart of this are the words we choose to share, the thoughts we manifest into posts, and the insights we offer. These aren't just a reflection of who we are online, but also a testament to our commitment to those who invest their time in us.      Having thoughts and being able to put

Clearing The Fog - James Jackson, PsyD - review of book

     I have recently encountered a highly insightful book, “Clearing The Fog,” written by one of my high school classmates, Jim Jackson, a Doctor of Psychology (Jackson, 2023). The book is centered around the theme of 'brain fog' and provides ways to mitigate it, which appears to have significant relevance to me due to my own experiences following chemotherapy.      While the concept of 'brain fog' was initially framed in the context of COVID-19 survivors, I have found it remarkably relevant to my situation. After undergoing chemotherapy, I’ve encountered cognitive challenges which can be described as a 'fog.' Jackson's book thus holds this particular value for me, offering strategies to preserve my mental clarity and prevent a regression to that foggy state.      What's striking is that the book also extends its relevance beyond those who've had COVID-19 or chemotherapy. It's a resource for anyone concerned about maintaining mental clarity. Even

One On One Fitness - Kalamazoo MI

For several years now, I have been relying on One on One Fitness  ("One On One Fitness Equipment", n.d.)  for most of my nutrition and supplement needs. It's no exaggeration to say that this particular outlet, nestled in the heart of Southwest Michigan, is outstanding in its field. It's the unparalleled quality of service, steeped in an ocean of knowledge, that sets them apart.  The staff members and owners of this exceptional establishment are more than just salespeople, they are guides in the journey of health and fitness. Their understanding of nutritional science, human physiology, and dietary needs has often left me in awe. They are ready to listen, offer advice, and take the time to help each customer understand their unique requirements and goals.  I consider the staff as close friends, as they take the time to know the needs of their customers and will greet you with a smile and a nod each time you come in.  I had traveled quite often, venturing beyond state l

How to Talk About Depression With Friends and Family

     Communicating your feelings and experiences of depression to friends and family can be a daunting task. It’s often difficult to find the right words to express just how you’re feeling, especially when those feelings are shrouded in stigma, misunderstanding, or fear. However, opening up about depression is a vital step towards recovery and building a strong support system.       For me, depression had me not wanting to do anything. Not even asking for help and being depressed had me laying in bed for hours on end not taking care of things. It was frustrating, and the thing that turned the corner for me was getting angry about not having the mental faculties are used to have. I used to be able to think really fast before the chemo. And after, I was under a fog, and couldn't remember words sometimes.       I did find help with some psychiatric help, and some testing. But none of the bone marrow transplant team would suggest or help me in that way. I had to push for and ask for he