Jun 4, 2010

What is a Challenged Brain?

Summary: There are many types of challenges that our brains have to deal with--not the least of which is the way we process our emotions. When mental health is in question, such as in the cases outlined below (even my own!), brain challenges are even more pronounced. Read on to learn more resources and coping mechanisms.

I have a challenged brain. Every year, as the summer sun begins to wane into winter's darkness, I lose precious amounts of vitamin D that my body just doesn't create to its fullest potential. And that creates a whole host of side effects: insomnia, irritability, lack of focus, and most obvious of all, depression. Depending on what else is going on in my life, the depression can be mild to severe.

It's been happening since I was five, which is over 30 years now. So, it's pretty easy for me to know what to look for. But for some, depression hits like a big truck in a blind side.

Here are some of the signs and symptoms:

- a change in sleep patterns (this could be oversleeping, having difficulty falling asleep, suddenly awakening in the middle of the night or early in the morning, or simply feeling lethargic throughout the day)

- changes in eating habits (many people overeat or lose their appetites when depressed)

- social changes (isolation--cutting yourself off from the people you used to associate with--is the most common form of social difference that depressed people exhibit; however, individual changes can range from avoiding certain people and places to over-socializing and risk-taking during certain bipolar depression states)

Learn more about depression, mental health, and the challenged brain at this page on Jim Phelps' PsychEducation.org.

© KiKi Productions, Inc. 2010

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