How to Stop Worrying and Start Living!

What do you worry about? Perhaps you worry about your health, work, money or about what other people think about you. You may even worry about having 'weird' or unacceptable thoughts and feelings or about bad things happening to you and to other people. Sound familiar?

If you find yourself worried about one or more of these kinds of things, well, you are not alone! We all worry, but for some people worry can get out of control and become excessive and out of proportion to the reality of the situation. If you tend to worry a lot, then you will know from first-hand experience of the negative impact it can have on the quality of your life. The good news is that life does not have to be like this. You can learn how to control your worry and start enjoying life again using techniques from a form of talking therapy called Cognitive Behavioral therapy or CBT to give it its shorthand name. First, let me say something about what worry is, and then outline some of the ways CBT can help you to deal with it.

So, what is worry? For a start, it's important to recognize that not all worry is bad. It can motivate us to deal with problems and issues in our day-to-day lives and even alert us to potential dangers in the world so that we keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. Chronic worry, however, is at the heart of all forms of anxiety, particularly generalized anxiety disorder, and research suggests that it is associated with depression. If you worry too much then you are likely to be very familiar with the question, 'What if'? You may find that you get stuck in unhelpful thinking patterns where you imagine and dwell on negative or catastrous consequences to some future event. As a consequence, you might find yourself engaging in a range of behaviors and activities to cope with your worry such as:

· Trying not to think about things
· Avoiding people / situations / or things that you find upsetting
· Seeking reassurance from others
· Compilation lists and gathering excessive amounts of information
· Over-analyzing problems or situations
· Distracting yourself or keeping busy all the time

In CBT, these behaviors are known as' safety behaviors and while they will provide some temporary relief from your worry, in the long-term they are likely to keep you stuck in a distracting and unhelpful cycle or worried. Similarly, you may also have beliefs about your worry that seem logical but which are in fact only serving to perpetuate your worry. Examples of these so called 'positive beliefs' about worry might be things like: Worrying about this problem will help me to find a solution “or” If I prepare for the worst and it does not happen then it's a relief 'or' Worrying shows that I care and am being responsible '. These thoughts may be helpful up to a point, but here's the catch; excessive worry reduces our capacity to act and solve problems and only serves to fuel doubt and more worry. When worry is left unchecked it can take control of your life to the point where your thoughts seem like a whirlwind from which there is no escape. In the long term this can lead to exhaustion and a sense of demoralisation.

But there is a way out of excessive worrying and the distress it brings with it. One useful strategy is to learn to distinguish between productive and unproductive worry. For instance, productive or real event worries are things that can usually be addressed by doing something now, whereas so-called unproductive or hypothetical worries, the 'What if' kinds of worries, are things that can not be addressed by taking action to sort them out in the present. That's where learning to let go of your worries and facing up to your fears comes into play. It can be helpful to make a list of all your worries and then sort them into productive and unproductive worries. Once you do this it can help you figure out which worries you can do something about and which ones do not have an immediate solution. For the latter, it's important to develop strategies to 'let go' of your worries. Perhaps by learning to shift your attention away from worrying and bringing it back to the present moment and what you are doing now or by setting aside limited periods of time during the day where you allow yourself to worry. Easier said than done, I know, but essential if you want to take control of your worry rather than letting it control you.

Another crucial step in overcoming your worry is to gradually stop doing the things that maintain it (ie the 'safety behaviors' noted above) such as avoiding and overanalysing things, seeking reassurance, making excessive lists, distraction and so on. Perhaps you could identify one safety behavior you engage in and try reducing your reliance on it over a period of time. For example, if you tend to seek reassurance from others about your worries you might try refraining from doing this as much as possible and notice what happens.

The above suggestions can be hard to implement but I know from my experience of working with people who suffer from excessive caring that if you work at them, sometimes with the help of an experienced therapist, then in the long term you will learn to manage and overcome your tendency to worry excessively. Keep in mind too that overcoming worry is often about learning to live with uncertainty, which is a fact of life for all of us. Trying to control things that can not be controlled is just a recipe for unnecessary worry. As Michel de Montaigne once said, “My life has been full of terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened.” So, as best you can put worry in its place and start living your life as fully as possible!

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How To Be Happy: Hold to the Here and Now

“Hold to the now, the here. The moment through which all future plunges to the past.”
James Joyce

This quote encapsulates good advice that positive psychologists have now confirmed has a solid, scientific basis.

Countless research studies demonstrate that the more rooted in present we are able to be, the more absorbed we are in our daily tasks and activities, the happier we become. A fast pace of life, being 'time poor' and constant multi-tasking characterize what life in the 21st century developed world has become for many of us. It can leave little room for being truly engaged. So often when we are doing something, our mind's really on other things. But why is this?

From a young age, when we enter formal education, we tend to be encouraged to focus on outcomes rather than processes. What matters is the marks we get, not the journey towards understanding, or why we made certain mistakes. This is one of the reasons why as we grow older, we develop a mindset that resists being content with and absorbed in the present moment, but instead fixes on the future and on the tasks that lie ahead.

Mass media advertising has possibly played a role in our changing concept of pleasure and enjoyment. As humans we have an innate ability to find interest in our surroundings, to use our imagination and create absorbing distractions for ourselves. This ability is often under-used though. From the advent of television onwards, we have been encouraged to do less and less to entertain ourselves and learnt to rarely increasingly on passive and bought entertainment. So what can be done about this?

Scientific studies have revealed that the more we certainly cultivate engagement, the better we become at it, like exercising a muscle. In this way we can relearn the ability to be anchored in the here and now. It's an ability that comes naturally to us as young children but becomes weakened and lost due to cultural and environmental factors.

Positive psychology highlights several proven approaches to boosting our ability to engage: saving, flow and meditation.

Savoring is consciously using each of our five senses to fully immerse ourselves in experiences as they happen. We do this by slowing down and not rushing through our tasks on autopilot. Savoring is opening our eyes and ears, being acutely alert to the taste, touch and smell of things. Whether it is cooking a meal, taking a shower or walking to the bus stop, everyday life is wall to wall with experiences we could savor more.

Flow is an intense feeling of engagement. It's the type of engagement that causes us to lose all track of time. We experience flow when we are occupied with a 'goldilocks task' – one that's not too easy (that would be boring), and not too hard (that would be stressful), but is just right and perfectly matches our own skill levels. Gardening, DIY, crafts, sports, writing, reading, creating artwork are just a few of the things we can do to experience flow. If we purposefully set aside time in our week for a few flow tasks, we are building engagement into our lives.

Meditation is a practice that takes many forms. Broadly speaking it falls into two camps: mindfulness based meditation and concentrative meditation. Mindfulness based meditation wastes spending extended periods of time (5 minutes or more) disengaging from your thoughts processes, ie you 'watch' your thoughts come and go, like clouds driving through the sky but do not get caught up with them. Instead you focus your attention on your unfolding sense experience. ie the things that you can smell, see, touch, taste and hear at that time. Concentration meditation also takes a step back from your thoughts, but by focusing intentionally on a single thing such as a candle flame, your breath or chanting a mantra of one or a few words over and over again. Studies demonstrate that daily mediation increases our ability to engage, to experience positive emotions and also strengthens the immune system.

Whiche approach or combination of approaches you take to increasing your engagement with life, it is an investment that will pay great dividends in terms of your happiness and life satisfaction. Simply savoring a few things that you'd normally rush, making a list of the things that give you flow and then doing them more, or trying out meditation could be the first step in the direction of a calmer and more fulfilling life.

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How to Be Happy: Harnessing the Power of Positive Psychology

Positive psychology is often referred to as 'the scientific study of happiness.' Originating in the States almost twenty years ago, it has steadily been gathering evidence about what the exact actions a human can take in order to be happy.

But what do we mean by 'happy'? It is a word with many meanings within it, some which appear to be contradictory. So it is important to make clear the exact type of happiness that positive psychology concerns itself with.

Positive psychology separates happiness into two broad camps: there is 'hedonic' happiness, and there is 'eudaimonic' happiness. Hedonic happiness could be described at relative sort of happiness. It is the type of happiness that depends very much on our immediate circumstances and our environment. You could call it a reactive happiness. It is the happiness we might experience as a result of a great meal, or funny film, or holiday or shopping trip. The basic attribute of hedonic happiness is that it does not last very long. It comes, it goes, it wears off.

The second type of happiness, eudaimonic happiness, could also be called absolute happiness. It can exist independently of our immediate circumstances and environment as it very much comes from within ourselves. This is a more consistent type of happiness. It is the happiness we are aware of when we are able to stay optimistic and cool in a crisis, it is the happiness that is experienced as an undering feeling of contentment and strength that persists throughout the ups and downs life throws at us.

Positive psychology's interest lies with the second type of happiness. With eudaimonic happiness. This is the happiness that lasts and lies within our control: we can take actions that will directly and without fail invest in our reserves of this type of inner happiness, and science has now demonstrated this as a fact.

So how is it done? Positive psychology begins by exploring the five key ares of our lives in which our eudaimonic happiness can be developed, and calls this the PERMA model. PERMA is an acronym for the areas which require our attention and investment if we are to create more happiness in out lives. These areas are: Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Achievement.

In the rest of this How to be Happy article series, we will explore these areas further and take a look some of the practical actions we can all take to invest in our eudaimonic happiness.

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A Natural And Safe Treatment For Mental Disorders And Unbearable Symptoms

I was looking for psychotherapy through dream translation when I was a young adult and I became a mother. I could not imagine that my psychotherapy through dream translation was my purpose in life, but I could recognize this truth when I found it.

I became mentally healthy thanks to dream therapy, especially after discovering that the unconscious mind that produces our dreams is God's mind. I understood that I had to help the world understand the value of this psychotherapeutic method. It happened not only because I was intelligent enough to understand the importance of my discoveries, but because God showed me that I had to transmit my knowledge to the world.

Since then, I stopped being a writer. I had to become a doctor. Instead of writing beautiful poems I had to be a hero into practice, and deal with terror.

God made me study the abnormal behavior that characterizes the mentally ill and understand the meaning of absurdity. I became one-thousand-years-old, even though I appeared to be only 29-years-old at that time.

I had to help my patients stop being desperate. I worked hard curing many people during nineteen years, before being able to publish my first scientific book.

My work could not be theoretical. Carl Jung's method of dream interpretation had to be simplified in order to have practical value. Everyone had to follow a few simple steps to find sound mental health, without so many complications. I became extremely objective.

I'm still an artist, but now everything I write always is important and serious. I'm always giving explanations and lessons.

I helped many people without payment. I was giving support to my patients like a nun, and not like a cold doctor. This is why I was with them in the worst moments of their lives.

I became so religious that I stated giving lessons to nuns and practices. After six years of atheism and a few years of doubts without really believing in God, I became very religious when I found scientific proof of His existence thanks to the information I had in dreams.

My old friends were surprised when they saw that I became a missionary. My religiosity was not expected by anyone. Everyone knew that I was atheist when I was young, after suffering from a tragic car accident. They also knew that I was indignant and lazy.

I stopped being selfish and distant. I paid attention to other people's problems.

Everyone around me believed that I was silly because I was so generous instead of being as selfish as I could. I was a hero without support or recognition. My materialistic family despised my sacred mission.

Today many people are glad because of my obedience to the unconscious guidance. They admire my persistence along all obstacles, dangers, and humiliations.

I did not doubt for a second that I had to defend God's existence and prove to the world that everyone must obey the divine guidance in dreams. This is why I was so persistent.

I would not have the courage to deal with so many problems if the scientific method of dream interpretation discovered by Carl Jung was not so important. This method helps you understand God's words in dreams. Its importance is not only psychological.

God sends us secret messages in dreams when we are not listening to our evil anti-conscience, which is our wild conscience. After discovering the existence of the anti-conscience I could clarify all the obscure points in Carl Jung's work. Everything started making sense.

On the other hand, my life biography was marked by many tragic experiences and the death of many people who were close to me, when they young. This fact made me care about the meaning of death. I had to find answers for all questions.

My life biography also was marked by my father's schizophrenic behavior, which I used to observe without being able to understand his reactions. He was very cruel with everyone. Fortunately, with me he was an angel because I looked like him and I was very intelligent when I was a child.

Beside my father's example, I was shocked by the fact that one of my best friends from the time we were teens became psychotic and completely lost his identity when he became a young adult. My friend Arnold started following a useless treatment with a psychiatrist, which was based on medication. After following this painful treatment that did not help him in any way for five years, he put an end to his own life.

His example showed me the tragedy I would have to deal with. I had the obligation to help those who end up like my mentally ill friend.

Many people feel that their life was ruined by psychological medication. They feel that they do not have a functioning brain because of their doctor's mistakes. They also have tremors and many other unbearable symptoms, which were caused by dangerous medication that should not be allowed.

I had to become a psychiatrist and psychologist through dream translation and help many people who had no chances to overcome their mental illness, in order to prove to the world the effectiveness of this treatment. Everyone found sound mental health thanks to the divine guidance. When they did not cooperate relating to their dreams, I had a series of dreams about their case.

Dream translation is a natural and safe treatment for mental disorders and unbearable symptoms. The unconscious psychotherapy in dreams cures your psyche with comprehension. This is the only treatment you can trust because it is based on wisdom and sanctity, and not on dangerous suppositions.

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Deeply Rooted Stigma Around Mental Health in the African American Community

1) Why do not we appropriately recognize and treat anxiety, depression and other mental health issues in our community; what are the consequences of that?

There is a deeply rooted stigma around mental health in our community.

Too many in our community have dismissed mental illness for the following reasons:

There is the assertion that African Americans are a strong race of people that can withstand any sort of adversity as a result of slavery; making us large immune from mental illness. Furthermore, there is still an active belief of “the strong black man” and “the strong black woman,” who is presumed to be strong, present and capable for everyone in his / her family, neglecting his / her own needs. We have been conditioned to appear as though we are not hurting. Without support from the community, or at least family and friends, how can one begin to heal?

· For some of us, in our minds, admitting and tackling our mental illness make us appear vulnerable. We are so afraid of the stigma attached to mental illness. There is also the perception that others may think of them as being “crazy” or “weak”.

Many white people will freely reference “seeing a therapist” in normal conversation. Black people, on the other hand, do not do that. In the black community, seeing a therapist is generally seen as a sign of weakness or a lack of faith. Some of us feel that prayer is the only form of counseling and medication required to take care of whatever trials and tribulations we are going through.

· According to the American Association of Suicidology (AAS), suicide is the third most common cause of death among African-American males between 15 and 24 years old. Our youths are hurting. However, instead of being encouraged to talk about their pain, they have been told to solely 'pray on it' or 'man up'. Yes, it is important that we pray. Nonetheless, prayer and action must go hand in hand. Seeking therapy or a support group is an avenue that is not readily pursued, as it is not fostered.

· Moreover, some of our people living with mental illness feel that they could handle their problems on their own. What's more, there is still the belief that a person should not share their personal business with the world or outsiders; thus preventing us from seeking the treatment we need.

2) What extra stress do we carry as Black people that make us vulnerable to anxiety, depression, bipolar, and other mental illnesses?

The extra stresses that we carry as Black people that make us particularly vulnerable are racism, poverty and prejudice at disproportionate rates. Even for those who may be aware of their illness, some of us tend to have few financial resources for coping with this stress than ours White counterparts. The aforementioned is significantly related to lower levels of happiness, life satisfaction, self-esteem, and higher levels of psychological distress. Over time, an untreated diagnosis can reasonably cause mental and physical deterioration of a person's health.

Why is there such a stigma among African Americans about mental health treatment? How do we reduce the stigma and where do we turn for help?

· In my private practice, some of my African American clients have shared that that they did not reveal to any member in their family that they are seeing me due to feeling shame.

· As a result of this shame, many African Americans suffer in silence. At the heart of shame is a fear of disconnection. If I share what I am going through or a part of me that is not so desirable, will I still be worthy of connection? Because we fear disconnection, we do not allow ourselves to really be seen.

There is a considerable fear in being labeled 'a mental health patient.'

The starting point for reducing stigma is education. In addition to treatment, participation in a patient support group can be very helpful during the recovery process. Support group members share their experiences with the illness, learn coping skills and exchange information on community providers. Supporting people to talk to about their mental health problems, may mean they are more likely to seek help.

75 percent of those affected do not receive the treatment they need. If left untreated, certain mental health problems – such as psychosis, depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder could get worse.

· One aspect of this is to listen to the concerns of the people whose attributes you wish to change. We need to challenge stereotypes in ourselves and others, and pursue the ongoing task of unraveling the stereotypical beliefs, such as “dangerous”, “worthless”, “weak”.

· We have to move to public education such as family target groups, network community and promote group society.

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Treatments for Anxiety and Depression

Individuals who are suffering from anxiety or depression will need specialist treatment from a qualified psychiatrist, counselor or therapist who is an expert at treating emotional and psychological problems.

There are a variety of effective treatments available to patients. This article looks at some of the treatments available. They form the building bricks for patients to heal from traumas, cope with symptoms of depression and address problems so they can get back on track and enjoy a happier and healthier life.

Depression is an extremely serious illness. It can have long lasting effects on physical health as well as every aspect of an individual's life. Their work, family, finances and personal relationships can all be seriously affected as a result of depression. For this reason, people suffering from depression should get the help they need as quickly as possible. The longer the individual sufferers depression, the more serious the damage to their physical and psychological state, and the longer it will take to heal.

Depression can be treated with a course of counseling sessions. Counseling is the best way to help a patient talk about the issues and problems that are affecting their mood and emotions. Stresses at work and at home an all be causes, and a good counselor will gently guide the patient towards identify their own issues and recognizing the triggers which have led to their anxiety and depression.

Counseling is a private session, one to one with your psychiatrists. They will talk to you, guide you and ask you questions. They will help you examine certain beliefs and perceptions you may have and look at different ways of dealing with them.

Therapies are also used to help treat depression. There are many therapies available and the one varies will depend upon each individual's needs and symptoms. Art therapy, swimming, other form of exercise, horse riding, gardening and other healthy, active and creative pastimes have been found to be extremely therapeutic for depression sufferers and individuals with mental disorders.

Patients with depression need the time to heal, and someone to talk to but they also need a creative outlet to express themselves, and distract them from the dark and depressive feelings their illness can cause.

Medication can be prescribed by a qualified Psychiatrist or Doctor. For some people, there is a need for medication which will alleviate the serious symptoms of depression and help them to heal. Using medication to address mental problems is an important part of the whole treatment program for many people. Just like any illness, there are highly effective medicines that will help patients to get better and help to restore health.

People who have depression will be given a combination of some or all of these treatments. They will work with their own psychiatrist to establish the best treatments and therapy choices. Then they will be guided through and supported along each step of the way. There is life after depression. While there is no doubt that it is a life threatening and debilitating disease, there is hope and for millions of people, healing takes place and they can return to a happy, emotionally balanced life once more.

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Depression – Help Is Available

Depression is a serious mental illness that can be experienced by anyone, of any age or sex. It can be caused by a variety of reasons. These could be psychological traumas, stresses and anxieties caused by life events, work or difficult relationships. Sometimes depression can develop over many years and the patient will be unaware of exactly what caused the problems to develop.

Depression is a mental illness and a result of a malfunction within the brain. As a result, it can reveal itself in many forms, from mild depressive episodes to more extremely serious manic depression or bipolar symptoms. Not everyone experiences these extreme symptoms. It is dependent upon each individual's own experiences, sensibilities, and their own physical makeup.

If you are suffering from any of the symptoms of depression it is important to realize that you are not alone and that you can get the help you need. There is still a stigma attached to mental illness and so unfortunately, many people will suffer in silence instead of speaking out and getting the help they need.

A patient who does not receive the correct treatment for their depression can develop other problems with their health. Loss of appetite, loss of sexual libido, weight loss, weight gain, and also physical problems like chronic pain in limbs and joints, and severe headaches or migraines have all been experienced by people with depression. Sleeping patterns can be upset and it can also have a serious effect on heart, lungs and other vital organs. Depression, untreated, is a life threatening disease. That is why it is so important to this information about mental illness and to help people to understand the importance of access the right treatment.

It is also important to understand that depression, if untreated, can result in the development of much more serious mental disorders, for example, eating disorders, sexual dysfunction, agoraphobia or other serious problems. However, they can all be treated! The area of ​​Psychiatry treatment is advancing every day, and news ways to support, treat and help people are being developed all the time.

Working with a good Psychiatrist will give you access to the very best counseling techniques, therapies and prescription medications. They will be used in the right combination to help you regain your strength, manage the symptoms and heal.

The road towards health can be long for depression sufferers. However, there is a solution and healing can occur with the right help support and guidance. It is no longer something that it hidden and regarded as shameful. People with depression can continue to live, and work as before. In fact, while they are undergoing treatment, for some sufferers, the need for normality is an important part of their recovery.

For others, depression marks a time in a patient's life when changes need to be made. Some people give up stressful careers and move away from city environments to live more rural, quieter lives. Some patients chose to use their creative talents and live much simpler lives away from the hustle and bustle of modern living. No two people are the same, and their recovery will be different too. The most important thing is that they all need help. And by getting professional help, they will be able to enjoy a happy balanced life much sooner.

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How to Find a Good Counsellor or Psychiatrist to Help You

If you are suffering from a psychological or emotional disorder, you will need a qualified psychiatrist to help you. This article shares some advice on how you can get the help you need to address your emotional or psychological problems.

Psychiatrists treat a variety of mental and emotional disorders. These can include depression, anxiety, eating disorders, relationship problems and also a whole range of serious mental disorders like bipolar disorder or manic depression.

Your first step is to consult your doctor. This is an important step because your GP should know that you are suffering and be aware of any other professional treatments that you require or are undergoing. Your doctor may also recommend a psychiatrist.

Even when a psychiatrist comes highly recommended, sometimes you may not feel comfortable with them or they may be too far away to easily attend appointments. It is always worth going online to look for information about a psychiatrist in your city or local town. Some patients have very specific problems that will require a professional who has experience in that area of ​​treatment. And for some patients, they will need to specify whether their psychiatrist should be a man or a woman. These factors are all dependent upon the symptoms and the problems each individual is experiencing.

At times life can be stressful, anxiety can build up, and for many of us the symptoms of depression can creep up on us and change our outlook and view of life. Depression can also seriously affect work and family relationships. For this reason, it is vital that sufferers speak to a professional as quickly as possible. No one needs to suffer in silence and there is help available for everyone who is suffering from an emotional disorder or psychological problem.

Asking for help with your mental health is not a weakness in fact it is a sign of strength and determination. People who reach out for help are demonstrating their desire to heal and return to feeling strong, positive, and happy again.

Take your time to identify a reputable counselor or psychiatrist. Ask for recommendations and do some research to find the perfect person for you. Once you have identified one or two, make appointments for an initial consultation. It is important to speak to them and establish wherever they can help you and to be sure you are comfortable speaking to them. Mental health issues are an extremely private subject so you will need to feel comfortable and at ease with your psychiatrist.

The best psychiatrists will be fully qualified and will be able to demonstrate their level of expertise and understanding in treating your disorder. They will also most likely have a variety of qualifications which confirm their academic knowledge and expertise in treatment too. Psychiatrists are fully qualified to prescribe medication for their patients so it is important that you check their credentials and make sure they are able to do this for you.

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How To Find Sound Mental Health And Understand Your Reality

The mysterious nature of mental disorders and the chaotic condition generated by craziness could have explained thanks to my research. I continued Carl Jung's research without accepting ignorance at a certain point like he did. I had to confront the anti-conscience, which is our wild conscience and generates mental disorders within our conscience.

Before being able to discover the existence of the anti-conscience I had undoubtable proof of God's existence and of the fact that I could really trust the information I had in dreams. Many confirmations in my daily life helped me completely trust the divine guidance in the dream messages.

Thanks to my obedience to the wise guidance I had, I could discover that absurdity is generated by the evil desires of the anti-conscience, which is violent and immoral. I also discovered that sound mental health is based on wisdom and goodness. As a matter of fact, in order to be really mentally healthy, we have to attain sanctity.

Sanctity seems to be an impossible goal for average human beings. Even the members of various Churches do not try to achieve this goal. There are only a few examples of real saints in the human history.

We do not think that mental health depends on goodness because we are indignant and absurd from birth. We have to develop our human consciousness during our lives. Sound mental health depends on goodness because goodness guarantees the preservation of peace and justice in all situations.

We believe that finding out what should be considered to be fair is a difficult matter because we are hypocritical and selfish. We are used with the craziness of our world, which is ruled by terror, violence, immorality, hypocrisy, and greed. Thus, we believe that we can not find real justice anywhere, and that nothing is right or wrong. Everything depends on our point of view.

We have many erroneous ideas and we make many erroneous conclusions.

By translating the meaning of your dreams you will understand God's justice, which is based on sanctity and wisdom. You will discern what is right or wrong in all situations, and you will understand why. The knowledge you find in dreams is not based on human suppositions.

God makes you become the perfect human being you can be, even if you disagree with this necessity.

You are indifferent to your evolution. You do not want to be perfect. You even believe that everyone must accept your imperfections because nobody is perfect.

God does not agree with your absurd ideas. You must have a serious attitude, and accept following a process of transformation. You should really desire to be perfect because you can become a superior human being. Your laziness is a big obstacle for your evolution.

You have to actually attain spiritual perfection if you want to be a mentally healthy person and find peace. This is not optional. If you will be individuated to this necessity, you will suffer because of the consequences of your mistakes.

You have the impression that someone can be mentally healthy including having many emotionally unstable interactions, while this is not true. All abnormalities reflect psychological problems. Good mental health depends on balance, sensitivity, and understanding.

You have to tame the violent reactions of your wild nature and become a peaceful, calm, sincere, generous, and reasonable person. You must preserve peace in all situations. This is not possible if you are contaminated by anger whenever you are offended, or whenever something is not the way you desire.

The same way, you have to stop being selfish. Otherwise, your ego will follow the absurd ideas of your dangerous anti-conscience.

You are used with the materialistic mindset of the current civilization, which does not consider many abnormal reactions as clear indications of mental illness. This is why you passively accept the absence of your social environment, and you have violent reactions when you are a victim of the unfair world.

You do not think that you have the obligation to correct anything. You only want to defend yourself.

If our world was not altogether absurd, we would not teach violence to our children. Their heroes would be saints, and not violent monsters like now. Everyone would have the necessary for their survival. We would put an end to poverty and immorality.

We would not create movies and books about horror stories. We would be afraid of terror.

However, we live in a commercial world that produces what people want to buy. Nobody cares about correcting the world and educating our population.

A few people imposes their selfish desires to the world because they hold the global economy in their hands. Everyone else cares about making money and survival, without having the intention to interfere with the functioning of the world.

A few heroes sometimes try to change the world, but nobody manages to put an end to terror, violence, poverty, immorality, hypocrisy, indifference, and many other horrors.

God opens your eyes. You start paying attention to everything that is negative in the world, and you correct what is wrong with your work and your example. God transforms you into a saintly hero who saves the world from misery thanks to your brilliant example.

Your psychological and spiritual transformation helps you always have a balanced attitude. You do not cause wars. You preserve peace in your environment thanks to your wisdom and goodness.

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The Highs And Lows Of Marijuana Use

Is Legalizing Marijuana Playing With Fire?

When marijuana is available legally for patients with medical conditions there can be a number of benefits if certain conditions apply: If the pharmaceutical drug options to treat the patients symptoms carry more risks than marijuana; if the marijuana offers more therapeutic benefits than the pharmaceutical drugs and if the profits from marijuana sales are channeled into constructive enterprises that will benefit society as a whole.

However, legalizing marijuana for recreational use is a whole different concept and one that has many people worried. The parties that are lobbying to legalize marijuana claim that legalization will supposedly take the manufacture and sale of marijuana out of the hands of drug addicts, drug cartels and other clandestine factions and into the domain of regulated manufacturers and retailers. Obviously, this will allow the taxes from sales to be directed into the public health and education systems, which would be far better than the current situation where only drug dealers benefit financially.

But there are several downsides to legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes. One of the main issues is that legalization sends out a message to impressionable adolescents that marijuana is perfectly acceptable. The other issue is that it will become far easier for minors to purchase marijuana even though it will probably only be available to those over 21 yo. Just like alcohol, teens can always find older siblings or friends to buy cannabis for them but having said that, it's already fairly easy for young people to purchase marijuana, whether it's legally acquired or not.

So What's Wrong With Marijuana?

Besides the statistics indicating that marijuana is a gateway drug for heavier drugs, marijuana itself can be very damaging to both physical and mental health. Physically it causes fatigue and increases the risk of heart disease and cancer, particularly lung cancer (if it's smoked) and cancer of the lymphatic system as well as oral tumors and other forms of cancer. Studies have shown that smoking marijuana is far more carcinogenic than nicotine and most people are well aware of the cancer risk from smoking cigarettes. Neurologically, marijuana is a well-known trigger for mental illnesses such as bipolar and schizophrenia and the damage it can cause to a developing brain can be catastrophic.

In normal brain development, significant changes occur in brain structure and function during the adolescent years and healthy brain function and growth needs to be supported through a healthy diet, adequate sleep and other favorable lifestyle factors. So consider the outcome if the developing brain does not receive the ideal requirements for normal growth and instead is exposed to neurologically-toxic substances such as marijuana (or other drugs).

Research carried out at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in the US showed that adolescents who use cannabis regularly have abnormal changes to their brain structure and the youngger the person is when they begin using marijuana, the greater the brain abnormality. Some of the brain damage that has been identified includes changes to the working memory – even two years after stopping the drug.

Furthermore, other research has shown that addiction develops very quickly, particularly in teenagers, and often results in the young person losing their motivation to engage in learning; no longer visualizing and working towards their dream career and no longer caring about their health. The long-term risks of marijuana use are well-known such as cancer; mental health conditions and other risk factors – often resulting in regular users becoming walking zombies that are mainly focussed on their drug use and little else. Teenagers that are addicted to cannabis are also more likely to experience feelings of anger or discontent whenever they have not had the drug for a while and there are at high risk of becoming anti-social and losing their friends.

The reason that addiction happens so quickly nowdays compared to years gone by is because the drug is so much stronger. So, these days, teenagers that beginning smoking marijuana at parties may soon begin to smoke every week and before they know it, they are seeking it daily. Large numbers of addicted teenagers are smoking marijuana several times a day just to feel 'normal'. This sort of use has a dramatic effect on their developing brain; their heart and lungs; their ability to learn and on their finances – they either need to steal to pay for their addiction or they find themselves going to work just to pay for their habit.

Sadly, even those that decide to stop using cannabis are unable to repair the irreversible brain damage that may have occurred if they have been regular users during the critical brain development phase. Psychiatrist, Dr Paula Riggs, quoted the statistics from long-term research in New Zealand that was conducted on adolescents that regularly smoked marijuana. The research was carried out over 38 years and found that there was a 6-8 point reduction in IQ in regular users which can affect them for the rest of their lives. The brain damage caused by marijuana use includes a reduction in executive function which is an important set of mental processes that are required for organization, planning, memory and other essential brain functions. Executive functioning helps you to 'join the dots' in terms of what you have learned in the past and how it relates to your current situation and what you need to do.

Therefore, regular use of marijuana alters the brain circuits in a really negative way and you do not have to be a rocket scientist to understand the impact this would have on brain development and the ability to achieve in life. As marijuana shapes the way the brain develops – a developing brain that is focused on learning versus a brain exposed to mind-altering drugs may have dire consequences for the rest of that person's life – even if they stop smoking marijuana later on. This is probably why the research shows that regular use of marijuana during the teenage years increases the likelihood of unemployment in adulthood or at best, results in a cannabis user or ex-cannabis user only being able to find work in (unsatisfying) sub-standard jobs that are far removed from the dream job they once saw themselves doing.

The only people to benefit from any kind of drug addiction are those that are making profits from the sales and I think it's a great tragedy that any government can 'approve' any substance that can irreversibly damage our young people's brains and potentially destroy their futures – no matter how much they may earn from the taxes on marijuana sales. Adolescents are vulnerable as the 'pleasure-seeking' part of their brain developments much faster than the 'self-control' part – leaving them much more susceptible to drug taking and other risky behaviors and they do not have the capacity to comprehend long- term consequences. Therefore, in my opinion, it's deplorable that a government does not protect their young citizens by saying “No” to legalization.

Particularly as some of the legalized edible marijuana is being packaged specifically to appear like lollies which would be far more attractive to children and teens! So, call me cynical but it would appear that the marketing of marijuana is actually targeting our youngsters. This is despite the fact that eating marijuana allows much more THC to be absorbed into the body compared to smoking, so it increases the likelihood of overdoses, particularly in young people.

Parents, educators and policy makers around the world have a responsibility to protect our young generations and should not be fooled by well-oiled marketing campaigns advanced by those who stand to make millions while teenager's brain structures are being destroyed along with their futures.

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How Successful Is Marriage Counseling?

When planning to meet a marriage counselor, it sometimes becomes difficult to believe whether visiting them will actually work. After all, an honest marriage counselor would not be able to deny that the success of marriage counseling largely depends on the motivation of the couple. If one spouse is determined upon a divorce, even a brilliant counselor would be able to save the marriage whereas for a couple who are obligly obliged to save their marriage, a mediocre counselor can make it a success. This has been the basis of a research made to determine the effectiveness of couple counseling.

The research included Family issues counselor and clients of marriage who reported on their experience with counseling. The findings of the research indicated that counselors for marriage and family considered a wide range of issues in reliably a short period of time, and that family and couple therapy are briefer compared to individual therapy while the satisfaction of clients and functional improvement were pretty high.

The studies that included clients from 526 marriage and family counselors found that:

· 98.1% rated services good or excellent

· 97.4% were generally satisfied with the service

· 97.1% received their desired help

· 96.9% would recommend their therapist to a friend

· 94.3% would visit to the same therapist in the future

· 93% said they found help in dealing with problems more effectively

· 91.2% were satisfied with the help they received

· 73.7% indicated an improvement in children's behavior

· 63.4% reported improved physical health

· 54.8% reported improved functioning at work

· 58.7% showed improved children's school performance

While the study includes raw data to support the effectiveness of family and marriage counseling, a frank and honest discussion from a public forum devoted to the topic “Does Couples Counseling Work” provides a less clinical but a positive note on the topic.

Irrespective of the opinions and studies that seem to support the effectiveness of marriage counseling, there are some who think otherwise. This is amply proved by research that shows maritime counseling is not as effective as it is thought to be, that it is women who get the most from it compared to men, and that the effect of it on the couple's marriage may not have a lasting effect. It is also found that the young, still in love, non-sexist, and open couples get the most from life coaching counseling therapy.

And the research also shows that there are some factors that make couple therapy less successful and include couples who wait too long before visiting a counselor and when one of the couples is set on getting a divorce and refuses to receive any suggestion that could save the marriage .

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How Do I Know If I Am Stressed?

People are always telling me that they are stressed and it's becoming an epidemic. I'm stressed because of ________, I'm stressed because my child is _______, I'm stressed because I can not ________, I'm sure many of us can fill in these blanks and many more!

So what exactly are we experiencing when we say we are stressed? According to the Canadian Mental Health Association stress comes from both good and bad events in our life. Stress can become a problem when we do not know how to handle a situation.

As defined by Helpguide – stress is a normal physical response to events that make you feel threatened or upset. When you sense danger whether its real or imagined the body's defenses kick into high gear in an automatic process known as the “flight or flight or freeze” reaction. Also known as the “stress response”.

We can experience external causes for stress and internal causes for stress. External causes can be anything from life changes, relationship challenges, financial problems to children and family Internal causes things like caring, negative self-talk, unrealistic expectations to an all or nothing mindset. Sadly many people deal with stress that only add to the problem, like drinking too much, over eating, distract themselves by hours upon hours of TV or computer time. And even more sadly some people use pills to relax or lash out at other people, especially those closest to us.

So how do we deal with stress so that we can live a more stress free life? You have more control over stress than you might believe because you do have control over how you respond to stress. Take control of what you think, how you feel, how you manage your time, your environment and how you deal with each event that can cause stress. Taking control of stress means changing the situation when you can and let go when you can not, taking care of yourself by exercising, eating a balanced diet and getting the proper rest and relaxation for your body.

Helpguide.com also offers the following to learn how to manage stress:

Remember the four As: avoid, alter, adapt, or accept.

§ Avoid unnecessary stress when possible

§ Alter the situation, if you can not avoid a stressful situation, try to alter it.

§ Adapt to the stress when you can not change the stress, try changing yourself.

§ Accept the things you can not change, there will always be stressors in life that you can not do anything about.

So my challenge for you this week is to identify what makes you stressed and practice the 4 “A's” to relate some of that stress!

Have a “stress-free” week!

Brenda

Brain Wave Coaching & Technology

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Five Things That Partners Of Addicts Should Know

Millions of men and women are added to something. This means that there are millions of partners suffering as well. Often, they do not know what to do, how to find and where to find help. Should they accept their partner's behavior or should they push for action? Is it their fault when the partner gives in to cravings all the time? Can they become codependent? Here are a few answers.

Difficult childhood and addiction

Do not think about what you did wrong. The addiction of your partner has nothing to do with you. Of course, you were not always perfect but this did not lead to an addiction. In 99% of addictions the root causes lie in childhood or teenage years. That was long before you appeared in your partner's life. Professional therapists will find out the undercoming reasons and provide effective help.

Your partner feels horrible

Your partner might try to deny it or hide it but probably (s) he feels terrible. Our studies show that almost 80% of addicts suffer from feelings of guilt, shame and low self-esteem. Therefore, you do not need to rub it in. Your partner knows that (s) he is behaving wrongly. The more you make him / her feel bad, the more you'll provoke addictive behavior. It's a vicious cycle.

Yes – you can help

You're a partner, not a psychologist. Therefore, do not try to give psychological advice. Leave that to professional therapists. You can help in other ways, though. Put pressure on your partner. Tell him or her that the situation has become unbearable and unacceptable for you. Threaden to leave without (s) he looks for help. Addicts need that kick … from someone they really love. Make sure you'll also promise full support and affection in case your partner accepts professional help.

Do not become co-dependent

It's never easy but try to keep a healthy distance from your partner's problems. Do not change your behavior, attitudes and daily activities as a reaction to your partner's addiction. Signs of codependency are excessive control, caretaking, denial of the problem, justification of your partner's problems and others. Step out of the relationship if your partner does not look for help immediately. Do not let it destroy your life and do not allow procrastination.

Chances of success are good

Statistics say that more than half of addiction therapies fail. However, the chances of success greatly depend on the patient's attitude. If your partner is convinced about the need to look for help then the chances of a sustainable recovery are much better. Help can be found through counselors and psychotherapists, through specialized clinics, through self-help groups and through self-help programs. The good thing about self-help programs is that your partner can start immediately.

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Understanding Mental Disorders And Unbearable Symptoms

Through dream translation you will clearly understand that all mental disorders and unbearable symptoms are generated by your anti-conscience, which is your wild conscience, and remains in a primitive condition. Your anti-conscience is your evil self.

You can not read the thoughts of your wild conscience, while your anti-conscience can read your thoughts. It can also send absurd thoughts to your conscience. All mental disorders are caused by absurd thoughts that invade your human conscience with the intent to mislead your ego, and destroy your capacity to think logically.

The mental health issues you are dealing with will be completely eliminated in a short period of time if you will strictly follow the guidance of the unconscious mind in your dreams. This is a guaranteed method of psychotherapy because the unconscious mind is God's mind and never makes mistakes. Many other people have verified this truth by following my dynamic method, derived from Jung's complicated method of dream interpretation.

You should have in mind that since you are constantly influenced by your anti-conscience, you tend to be disobedient. It's not a simple matter to be obedient.

Even though you have the right guidance in your dreams, you are not a good patient because you are used with your mistakes, and you hate behavioral changes.

If you want to make progress, you should understand that you make many mistakes and you must be corrected. You have to do what is positive for you, without insisting on your personal opinion.

God works like a private psychotherapist. He produces numerous dreams with important messages that help you understand all your mistakes, and the mistakes of the world. He patently repeats many times the same lessons, in many different ways.

You have to begin by understanding what is bad, false, and dangerous, so that you may learn what is really good and safe. Understanding what is negative is necessary. You have to eliminate all the negative aspects of your life, instead of being indeterminate to what is working against you.

Through dream translation you will begin a new life. You will understand how to separate the thoughts of your human conscience from the thoughts of your wild conscience. At the same time, you will eliminate your anti-conscience through consciousness.

This means that you will understand when you are influenced by your anti-conscience and you will gradually transform it into human content. You will be able to tame your wild tendencies and always control your mind and your behavior.

Since you know that you have inherited an absurd and evil anti-conscience, which generates mental illnesses within your conscience, you know how all mental disorders are formed. This is not a mystery anymore.

The unconscious mind gives you numerous lessons in dreams, showing you how to stop being misled by your anti-conscience. You have to avoid its traps and develop your human conscience. This is how you will become mentally healthy.

Understanding the meaning of dreams and how mental illnesses are formed are simple matters today, but understanding the traps prepared by your anti-conscience is hard, especially if your anti-conscience already managed to destroy a big portion of your conscience.
In the beginning the invasion of the anti-conscience happens with thoughts, but as it manages to destroy a big portion of your conscience, its attacks are stronger. The anti-conscience is able to cause unbearable symptoms like panic attacks, blackouts, oral and visual distortions, dizziness, and hallucinations.

You should follow dream therapy before being in such position. If you are dealing with mental health issues, do not disregard the first alarming signs.

Only if you will obey the divine guidance can control your behavior, even if your anti-conscience already managed to destroy a big portion of your consciousness. If you already are mindally ill, your obedience is more than predictable.

Today you can easily understand the meaning of dreams and the unconscious psychotherapy. You only have to follow the guidance you have. My work clarified everything for you.

After the initial difficulties you will get adapted to the unconscious criticism, since you will verify the value of being able to understand your mistakes. You will have the behavior of a good student and patient, and find sound mental health.

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Psychosocial Management of Bipolar Disorder: Methodology of Performing a Systematic Review

This article is decidedly divided in to subsections to discuss the topic thoroughly and systematically.

Methodology

In this article the author details how a researcher should conduct a systematic review of bipolar disorder. This will help future reviewers to conduct their reviews according to the most scientific standards of the day.

Review Methods

In contrast to a narrative review, the author provides a summary of randomized controlled trials on the specific and focused clinical question of the review, using explicit methods to search, critically appraise, and synthesized the literature systematically. He brings together a number of separately conducted studies, regardless of their findings, and synthesis their results.

The reviewer is well aware of the needed rigor in the preparation of a systematic review and conducts a formal process for this purpose. This includes a comprehensive and systematic search for primary studies on the focused question, followed by selection of studies using clear and reproducible eligibility criteria, critical quality evaluation of primary studies, and finally synthesis of results according to predetermined and explicit methods.

Aims and objectives

The author endeavored to examine the effectiveness of various types of adjunct psychosocial interventions in management of bipolar affective disorder, using an explicit a priori methodology according to a standard review protocol.

A protocol was developed to minimizeize bias, by taking all key methodological decisions clearly and systematically, before going to the literature. The protocol aimed to set out the tasks and clear and explicit methods to be followed in this systematic review and to ensure that results are reproducible.

Focused question: Are different methods of adjunct psychosocial management for people with bipolar disorder useful, effective and superior to standard medical treatment solo, in relapse prevention, functional improvement, and reduction of severity and duration of bipolar episodes?

Definition of psychosocial management for the purpose of conducting a systematic review: Psychosocial management is an umbrella term used to cover various forms of psychological therapies used in the management of bipolar disorder. This includes cognitive therapy, family focused therapy, interpersonal and social rhythm therapy, psycho-education, and relapse prevention. The author includes studies where some of the following elements were considered:

1) Education about the illness: All forms of studies included must have offered general education to the subjects of the study intervention arm, in order to improve the individual's awareness and understanding of bipolar disorder.

2) Monitoring and self regulation: Monitoring, vigilance, identification and management of acute symptoms and relapse prevention should have been part of
the agenda for the intervention arm. Individual's ability to recognize and manage the relapse prodromes or the internal and external stressors that may increase their vulnerability to future relapse should have been discussed.

3) Enhancement of adherence to pharmacotherapy: Among the included studies, forming a therapeutic alliance with the psychiatrist and importance of adherence to pharmacotherapy should have been discussed to the therapy group. Management of side effects, and pros and cons of medical treatment and dangers of abrupt treatment withdrawal should have been discussed.

4) Cognitive processes in bipolar disorder should have been discussed with the intervention arm of included studies. This may include education on techniques to monitor, examine and change dysfunctional habits and behavior associated with undesirable mood constences.

5) Studies included should have described the content and duration of the psychological therapy for the intervention arm, and have a follow up period of at least two years.

6) A minimum total of 6 sessions should have been delivered to the study participants included in each study.

The above mentioned elements are considered to be integral parts of psychosocial management of bipolar disorder. Different treatment regimes, may give more weight and emphasis on one or the other, but it is deemed necessary for some of the above elements to be introduced, no matter how briefly through the course of therapy provided.

Eligibility criteria with rationales

Type of studies

Randomized controlled trials, Nonrandomised and quasi-randomized trials should not include.

Rationale: The reviewers only includes RCTs, for the reason that randomized trials are the gold standard of examination of effectiveness, they ensure random allocation to intervention and control arms of the studies, help eliminate selection bias, and ensure the similarity in characteristics and treatments of both groups in the long run, except for the intervention under study.

Participants

1) In all included studies, all patients had a diagnosis of bipolar disorder I or bipolar disorder II, according to explicit diagnostic criteria, identified by structured clinical interviews.

Rationale: To avoid bias resulting from different definitions between studies the author restricts the review to studies using DSM IV criteria as the reference standard for mental disorders.

2) Studies should have not solely enrolled patients who were suffering from acute mania or patients who were hospitalized in acute wards at the point of recruitment. Studies should have not enrolled patients with only depressed or manic episodes.

However, the studies may include those attending day centers. Studies with patients with rapid cycling or mixed affective episodes can not be included.

Rationale: Reviewers should try to include studies where the registered patients, present with similar clinical picture and need similar sort of support and treatment. The groups that fall under exclusion criteria stated above have different needs, severity of illness and compliance to the intervention provided.

3) Studies may include patients with mild levels of depression (defined as a Beck depression inventory of <15) can be included.

Rationale: This group of patients can benefit from therapies provided and be able to comply with the treatment.

4) Patients on both arms of the included studies should be on regular prophylactic medication.

Rationale: Standard prophylactic pharmacotherapy is the mainstay of treatment of bipolar disorder and it is considered unethical to interrupt medical treatment for experimental purposes. Non-compliance with the medical treatment will significantly change the clinical outcomes of either arm of the study.

5) The included studies only should have trialed adults (between 18 and 65).

Rationale: Studies should include examine the adult age group. The clinical picture, diagnosis and management of childhood bipolar disorder varies significantly from the adult conditions. Older groups commonly have co-morbid physical, mental and cognitive conditions that may introduce confounding to the results and would be very difficult to account for.

6) Studies that primarily focus on patients with other psychiatric co-morbidities or bipolar disorder secondary to organic causes should not be included.

Rationale: The clinical picture, diagnosis, management and complications vary in the above groups.

7) Only studies with patients with a history of at least 2 bipolar episodes and at least one episode within last two years should be included (not in full remission for more than 2 years).

Rationale: A minimum number of 2 episodes ensures diagnostic certainty, and helps avoid first time diagnostic errors to include other mental health conditions such as PTSD and schizophrenia. One episode should be within last 2 years, to ensure that the disease was ongoing at the time of recruitment and the patient was not in full long-term recovery or burnt out phase.

Outcome measures

The included studies should examine some of the following as their outcome measures:

1) Mean number of bipolar episodes and mean number of bipolar related hospitalization.

2) Time to next episodes (as defined by DSM IV criteria for manic, depressive and mixed episodes).

3) Changes in global functioning and / or duration or severity of bipolar symptoms, using validation instruments.

4) Mean number of days fulfilling the DSM IV diagnosis a bipolar episode.

5) Mean number of episode free days.

6) Mean number of bipolar related days in hospital.

7) Rate of suicide in intervention and control groups.

Search strategy

As the rigor of systematic search methods is an important determinant of unbiased systematic reviews, extended systematic search methods including hand-searching, reference lists, personal communication searching of specialized databases and registries; is used by the reviewer to carry out this review.

The search strategy aims at increasing sensitivity of our search, by minimizing non-retrieval of the documents that were relevant to the review question and to maximize retrospective of the documents that are relevant to the review respectively.

Every effort should be made for the search to be as extensible as possible. This means that the reviewer may err on the side of retrieval of too many items and subsequently excluding those that are not relevant after direct examination of the papers.

Electronic search

The search terms used in a systematic review are constructed using the following strategy:

1) The reviewer derives major terms from the questions by identifying the population, interventions and consequences.

2) Alternative spellings and synonyms are identified for major terms. The reviewer also includes terms identified through discussions with experts in the field and subject librrians of mental health trusts.

3) The keywords are checked in any relevant papers available to the reviewer at the outside.

4) The Boolean operator OR is used to incorporate alternative spellings and synonyms.

5) The Boolean operator AND is used to link the major terms from the population, interventions and consequences.

6) Brackets are used for grouping of terms.

7) Each stage is double checked with a specialist librarian based at mental health library.

The following specified electronic databases have to be searched fromception with the following Mesh terms (or their equivalents in different databases):

(“bipolar disorder” OR “manic depressive psychosis” OR “bipolar depression” OR “manic depression”) Combined with the following subject headings using the Boolean connector AND (Cognitive therapy OR social rhythm therapy OR psycho-education OR family therapy OR family focused therapy OR psychosocial management OR psychosocial intervention OR psychological therapy).

The following free text searches are combined using the Boolean connectors accordingly: (“bipolar disorder *” OR “bipolar depress *” OR “manic depress *” (AND) Cognitive therapy * OR cognitive behaviorio * OR social rhythm therapy * OR psycho-education OR psychosocial intervention * OR psychosocial management * OR psychosocial treatment OR relapse prevention OR psychological therapy * OR psychological management OR psycho-education OR family family * OR family focus *)

1.The Cochrane Collaboration Depression, Anxiety and Neurosis Controlled Trials Register (CCDANCTR) will be checked.

2. The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) will be checked meticulously according to existing database.

The following additional databases are searched to check the completeness of the review:

1. EMBASE
2. MEDLINE
3. CINAHL
4. PsycINFO
5.CCDANCTR and CENTRAL

Reference checking

The reference lists of all identified randomized controlled trials, other relevant papers and major textbooks of bipolar disorder written in English should be checked. This process will be repeated until no further reports or papers seem relevant, and until no new studies are found that are not already identified electronically.

Hand searching

The journal Bipolar Disorder, will be hand-searched. No further studies should have been found though this method which were not already identified among the electronic hits.

Personal Communications

The authors of significant papers are identified from authorhips lists over the last two decades. They, and other experts in the field, are contacted and asked of their knowledge of other published or unpublished studies, relevant to this review. No further papers are identified through this process.

Inclusion and exclusion process

Studies scoped by the search strategies elaborated earlier above were checked to ensure satisfaction of both inclusion and exclusion criteria.

Abstracts of all cited studies should be obtained. Studies will be excluded at this stage only if unequival evidence is found in the abstracts. When this is not possible full texts of studies are obtained to take a decision regarding exclusion. Excluded studies are recorded with details of the author's reasons for exclusion.

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