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On World Mental Health Day We’re Busting 3 Myths On Common Disorders

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Today we’ve seen the emotionally charged hashtags around #WorldMentalHealthDay shared by affected friends, families, coworkers as they’ve filled up our news feeds with staggering statistics and moving stories. In unison, this online awareness has shed light on mental health issues and sparkled significant conversations. All of them pointing towards the need for resources, answers, clarifications, branching together and fighting against the stigma that surrounds mental health illnesses.

Celebrities too, have come forth to express their ties to mental health with their personal stories to their fans while tweets with powerful imagery have weighed on the online world to champion today’s movement. In an effort to join into the global conversation surrounding today, we’re exploring the top 3 myths surrounding mental illnesses and the truths behind each one.

Anxiety

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Myth: Anxiety can be resolved by just avoiding stressful situations all together or bringing rubber bands or paper bags along your day to day’s to get over those panic attacks. 

Reality:  Though anxiety is treatable, it remains as the most familiar mental illness affecting 40 million adults every year. In a perfect world, avoiding stressful situations would be an easy fix but we all know that this simply isn’t how our day to day lives work. Situations happen, at times quite sporadically and even the smallest things can affect an individual suffering from anxiety. Additionally, suppressing situations will actually work against someone with anxiety, as the anticipation will snowball every time a situation is avoided or ignored, becoming stronger and louder. The more you resist, the likely anxiety persists. As for the hyperventilation techniques used with paper bags, they create a dependancy on that chosen object, which in turn, makes you anxious about being anxious.

Depression

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Myth: Depression is all in your head, and there are no physical repercussions that come from it. It can easily be cured by the right antidepressant. 

Reality:  There are many types of depression that can be diagnosed, and though they predominantly affect the emotional, mental state they can also be noticed through physical signs that are often overlooked. Indications like insomnia, fatigue, lack of appetite, muscle aches or chest pains are all noticeable ways that depression can affect our bodies.  Since depression comes in many shapes and forms, finding the right antidepressant can become quite the challenge for many folks. One pill simply does not work for everyone and it the process when starting the treatment can take up to six weeks. Though medication is one of the common ways to fight depression, others find treatments in therapy.

Schizophrenia

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Myth: Schizophrenia means you have multiple personalities talking to you in real time. It makes you dangerous and untrustworthy.

Reality:  Schizophrenia can be spotted through a wide array of different symptoms, but not one of those allude to having multiple personalities.  Though there are 5 different types, schizophrenia as a whole, affects the way a person thinks, acts, expresses emotions or perceives reality. Since this often comes with psychotic symptoms like delusions and hallucinations, main stream society has time and time again portrayed schizophrenic patients as dangerous, criminals that violently act out. This couldn’t be further from the truth: reports show that the majority of patients suffering are non violent, and if the crimes were incidentally tied to an individual with the schizophrenia, that it was not correlated to their symptoms.

There are many other mental health illnesses that surround us everyday, often living through people we know or begin to know. Today, we urge you to do your part in joining to fight the stigma against these diseases that affect so many of us. For #MentalHealthAwarenessDay take a moment to research, read or simply reach out and speak to someone suffering.

 

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Cellular Oxidation

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Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer. We all know someone that has been affected by one of these afflictions. We’ve heard them mentioned at some point of our lives through a friend, a coworker or perhaps even a family member. These are illnesses directly linked to cellular oxidation and in part, due to the overload of free radicals.

But what exactly is oxidation? Surely, we’ve seen the way iron rusts when we leave it out or the variety of anti-oxidant capsules available on the market today. Oxidation in the body, however, can lead to health complications and problems in the long run.

When the process of oxidation takes over, it damages the human body by deteriorating cell membranes along with many other structures such as cellular proteins, lipids and DNA. Then, once the oxidation is metabolized, free radicals appear, stealing electrons, which they need to function properly.

These free radicals are fine in a controlled number, but if there is an overload and they get out of hand, then there is the risk of heart disease, liver disease and some cancers to develop with various degrees of severity. Oxidation can even be fuelled by many other outside factors, some we’re not initially aware of, such as pollution, stress and even sunlight. In fact, solar radiation (UVAS) play a huge part in the process, especially in the production of free radicals.

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Some degenerative conditions caused by free radicals can include:

  • Arthritis
  • Parkinson’s
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Premature aging
  • Cancers
  • Increased heart disease

There are several solutions to neutralize the overload of free radicals that can cause us harm and make us susceptible to these illnesses.

Antioxidants:

Maintaining a healthy diet, rich with antioxidants will greatly reduce the risk of encountering many of these diseases. These are the superheroes that will come to your rescue and put out the internal fires caused by oxidation. The protective properties of antioxidants have been studied for years, and continue to be found in great sources of food we can enjoy everyday.

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Check out the list below for some you may find around your kitchen:

  • If you like Leeks, onions and garlic: Allium Sulphur compounds 
  • If eggplant, grapes and berries are more your liking : Anthocyanin
  • If you enjoy a nice glass of red wine or a long cup of tea: Catechins
  • If seafood, lean meat, milk and nuts are on the menu: Copper (seafood also goes for Zinc!)
  • If you’re thirsty for some oranges or mangoes: Vitamin C
  • If you need your leafy greens like spinach and corn: Lutein
  • Soybeans and tofu contain: Isoflavonoids
  • Whole grains and seeds: Lignans
  • Herbs such as thyme and oregano: Polyphenols
  • Vegetable oils, avocados: Vitamin E
  • Watermelon, tomatoes, grapefruits: Lycopene
  • Cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower: Indoles

Vitamin Supplements:

Research still has not confirmed if the use of supplements are more or less effective than those of eating whole foods and grains from the list above, so we recommend seeking supplements that contain all nutrients instead of isolating them.

What are some of your favourite anti-oxidants? Leave us your thoughts in the comments below!

 

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