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Feb 5, 2019

Mental Health Manifestations

by Connie, AP/AR Rocker

A mental illness is a condition that affects a person's thinking, feelings, or mood. Such conditions may affect someone's ability to relate to others and function each day. Each person will have different experiences, even with the same diagnosis. 

Recovery, including meaningful roles in social life, school, and work, is possible, especially when you start treatment early and play a strong role in your own recovery process. 

A mental health condition isn't the result of one event. Research suggests multiple, linking causes. Genetics, environment, and lifestyle influence whether someone develops a mental health condition. A stressful job or home life makes some people more susceptible, as do traumatic life events like being the victim of a crime, physical abuse, mental abuse, etc. Biochemical processes and circuits and basic brain structure may play a role, too. 

One in five adults experiences a mental health condition every year. One in seventeen lives with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. In addition to a person's directly experiencing a mental illness, family, friends, and communities are also affected. 

Half of mental health conditions begin by age 14, and 75% of mental health conditions develop by age 24. The normal personality and behavior changes of adolescence may mimic or mask symptoms of a mental health condition. Early engagement and support are crucial to improving outcomes and increasing the promise of recovery. 

There are many forms of mental health problems including: 


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is a developmental disorder where there are significant problems with attention, hyperactivity or acting impulsively. 


Everyone experiences anxiety sometimes, but when it becomes overwhelming and repeatedly impacts a person's life, it may be an anxiety disorder. Severe anxiety can interfere with your daily activities such as: going to work, leaving your house, being around other people, etc. Many people try to hide these feelings from others, if it gets this severe, you do need to contact someone to help you understand what you are going through and why! For some, it is a chemical imbalance in the brain. Others, it is traumatic events they have gone through. This should not go untreated, the sooner it is detected, the easier it is to take control of the situation. 


Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disorder that makes it difficult to socialize and communicate with others. 


Bipolar Disorder causes dramatic highs and lows in a person's mood, energy, and ability to think clearly. 


Borderline Personality Disorder is characterized by severe, unstable mood swings, impulsivity, and instability, poor self-image, and stormy relationships. 


This is a mental health condition that requires understanding and treatment. The sufferer may experience loss of hope, overwhelming sadness, and difficulty functioning. It is a very serious epidemic in this day and age. It is even affecting young children, so pay attention for signs of social withdrawal. I have suffered from depression and anxiety all of my life, and it took me until I was 45 to address the issue. Sometimes It is something you don't want other people to know about you because it makes you feel like an idiot for not being able to control your emotions and feelings. I can't even imagine a child (who do not deserve to be experiencing these kinds of feelings) having to deal with this condition. There are so many suicides these days because children do not know how to deal with this type of disorder. We must stay involved with our children and be aware of their behavioral patterns, talk to them, help them understand these symptoms, and make sure they know that you are there for them. 


Dissociative Disorders are a spectrum of disorders that affect a person's memory and self-perception. 


Psychosis is characterized as disruptions to a person's thoughts and perceptions that make it difficult for them to recognize what is real and what isn't. 


OCD causes repetitive, unwanted, intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and irrational, excessive urges to do certain actions (compulsions). 


PTSD is the result of traumatic events, such as military combat, assault, an accident or a natural disaster. It can cause anxiety, flashbacks, dissociative episodes, rage, and more. 


Delusion Disorder is characterized by strong beliefs that are often within the realm of possibility (such as a cheating spouse) but do not correlate with reality. When presented with the truth, the person is unable to recognize it over their previously fixed ideas. The person may otherwise be able to function normally, so it can be difficult to diagnose.  


Schizoaffective Disorder is characterized primarily by symptoms of Schizophrenia, such as hallucinations or delusions, and symptoms of a mood disorder, such as depressive or manic episodes. 


Schizophrenia causes people to lose touch with reality, often in the form of hallucinations, delusions, and extremely disordered thinking and behavior. 


This disorder is characterized by long-term patterns of self-obsession and an overinflated sense of self-worth. Narcissists can exhibit anti-social behavior such as selfishness and lack of empathy. They are often obsessed with achieving power and status or their physical appearance. In relationships, they commonly gravitate toward overly empathetic people who will accept their controlling/abusive behavior.  


Children who experience abuse or neglect at a young age, do not have consistent, responsive caregivers, or who are separated from their caregivers for long periods of time are shown to have difficulty with personal relationships and attachments later in life. They are more likely to struggle with emotional dysregulation, substance abuse, and tumultuous personal relationships as adults.  


Feb 5, 2019

The Five Love Languages

by Aspen, Herbal Authoress

Do you ever feel you and your partner are talking past each other? Dissatisfaction with your relationship can have serious consequences for your well-being and health. When it comes to how you express love and affection, you both may be doing an excellent job - just not in a way the other person recognizes. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman breaks down the way many couples express affection so you can better show your love:

Words of Affirmation: Some people need praise, kind remarks, and “I Love You’s.” They need to be verbally recognized for their efforts.

Receiving Gifts: Whether it is a Tesla Model X or their favorite chocolate bar from the grocery store, receiving gifts makes them feel remembered, known, and appreciated.

Acts of Service: Pick up the kids or unload the dishwasher, these little things do not go unnoticed.

Quality Time: A simple evening stroll or running errands together is divine if this is your Love Language.

Physical Touch: From holding hands in public to sex, nothing can replace physical affection for these people. A simple squeeze of the shoulder as you pass them on the couch will help them feel appreciated and safe.

Feb 5, 2019

February 2019 Window to Wanderlust

by RidgeCrest Herbals

Feb 5, 2019

Being There for Your Friends in Tough Times

by Meagan, Customer Service Mermaid

Note from the Herbal Authoress: I asked Meagan to write a piece on how to be there when a friend is going through a tough time, because I have repeatedly seen her step up and provide emotional support, run errands, grab coffee, and even make snacks for her long-time friends in the office who have been dealing with the illness and loss of their parents. I am constantly impressed by her generosity and kindness, and I thought that she could lend some wonderful insight into how to be a good friend. These are her ideas:

Listen: Most people will need to vent, let them talk. No need to pry but let them openly vent their story.  Many of us are eager to share our own feelings or thoughts on the situation at hand, but that may be taking away from their time to emotionally process their own story, so give them your full attention. I’ll never forget being depressed after my Dad passed away, only to have a “friend” compare how awful their life was compared to mine. Don’t offer advice or make comparisons unless asked.

Validation: Focus on what they’re feeling, don’t invalidate what they may be feeling by dismissing or making light of the situation. Get on their level emotionally, empathize with them.

Service: A lot of the time those going through difficult situations will turn down help, not wanting to burden those who have their own life to live. When asking “Is there anything I can do for you?” change it to be more specific “I’d like to help you by doing ____.” Doing something without them having to ask can often relieve some stress of daily life. Providing a meal, basic groceries, taking the kids for a few hours, and helping with the house are good ways to help out. Normal day-to-day tasks can seem overwhelming when in a difficult situation.

Be patient: There is no standard time for grieving or a standard emotional timeline. Give them the time they need. If you are truly concerned with how long the sadness has lasted recommend they see a doctor or therapist.  

Jan 23, 2019

Window to Wanderlust January 2019

by Abbie, Graphics Goddess

Jan 23, 2019

Homemade Cough Lozenges

by RidgeCrest Herbals

Jan 22, 2019

Honesty is a Gift

by Shae - Service and Social Media Goddess

Honesty is a gift.

I first heard about honest communication and expression in the book Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenburg PHd. Honesty in communication is such an important gift to give others, and is so crucial for amazing relationships. Every time I think about this gift I remember a situation that happened with me and my best friend. We wanted to spend some time together, so I suggest we go grab some Pho for dinner. She agreed and we picked out a time and place to meet. When we got there, the place was closed. She mentioned not being in the mood for Pho anyway, I told her I hadn’t been either and we both laughed while questioning why we would both agree to doing something we didn’t want to do. So we agreed to always be honest with each other no matter how big or small.

I know that my friend will give me this gift of honesty. I know she will never do anything she doesn’t want to do at the expense of hurting, inconveniencing or upsetting me, and there is so much power in that. In that honesty, I know that we are both safe expressing our wants, needs and desires. I have taken this lesson and spread it out to the rest of my life. I would never want anyone else to withhold something from me for fear of hurting or upsetting me and I would never want someone else to do that for me. We should not suffer in silence because we are afraid of hurting, upsetting or inconveniencing others.

Jan 22, 2019

Winter Garden Guide 2019

by RidgeCrest Herbals

Gardening may not be on your mind when it's snowing, but in winter you can take some proactive measures to ensure a great spring.

Hopefully, you already added a layer of mulch on your garden beds in the fall, so monitor them in the following months as the initial layers break down; you may need to add more.  Mulch creates heat when it decomposes, which helps insulate your beds and provides them with nutrients.

Watch where you salt! If you need to de-ice your driveways and sidewalks, be careful while you sprinkle. Salinity in the soil surrounding your garden beds can negatively affect your plants. If you're anxious about this, you can use salt-free ice melters like magnesium chloride or calcium chloride.

If you're bringing in potted plants to winter in your home, spray them with an organic insecticidal solution to keep any outdoor hitchhikers from coming in. Place your pots away from air vents and drafts to maintain a consistent temperature, and lower your watering schedule - houseplants don't grow as aggressively during winter months.

Some bulbs grow early in the season, in the middle of the last snowstorms of winter. Don't worry! These plants are designed to survive cold temperatures. If you are afraid of an impending snowstorm weighing down your tulips, you can cover them with a fabric sheet.

Speaking of covers, many people cover their delicate plants in late winter/early spring to protect them from lingering frosts. While this is a good idea, covering must be done correctly, or it can end up doing more harm than good. Use cloth or burlap instead of plastic. Plastic can trap excessive moisture around your plant, causing damage. If you have to use plastic, keep it from coming into contact with any of the stems, branches, or leaves.

Jan 15, 2019

Dealing With the Short End of the Stick

by Nichole, Magical Marketing Millenial

Sometimes life throws you more than one curveball, consecutively, or worse, all at once. 2018 was that year for me. Full of turmoil, trauma, and hit after hit, I felt KO’d by the end of it. It has gone down in my life history book as the worst year yet. My house might as well have gone up in flames, my cars somehow managed to both fail at the same time (multiple times), medical bills just kept piling, my husband lost his job, and I experienced the loss of my Dad. The short end of the stick turned into a pointy, stabbing end very quickly. Thankfully, it’s 2019 and I am here to reflect on all of it.

How did I make it? How in the hell did I survive the stress? Well, truth be told, I didn’t. I struggled - and I mean it when I say that. I emotionally disappeared. I found a hole to hide in when I could. The new habits I’d successfully developed and maintained in 2017 quickly became obsolete. I was at the base of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. I didn’t feel safe. I was in fight or flight mode from March through December. Stress was a suffocating blanket I seemed to stay wrapped in. Yet, here I sit in 2019, and I can see the sunrise.

There’s nothing quite like a year as awful as 2018 to put life in perspective. Through all the trial and tribulation I somehow survived and I came out of it a different person. And I write all this, not for a pity party - I’ve had enough of those - but because I know that there are those of you on the other end of this that are experiencing hard trials. And I want you to know that it is but a moment in the vast space of time - a very important moment. All of this, whatever that may be for you, will help you grow, should you allow it. You will find this is about learning and uncovering who you are underneath that exterior.  

Please, seize the moments you can to take care of yourself. If you need to hide, hide. If you need to disappear from the world for a moment, do so. It’s okay to be human. It’s okay to hurt, be depressed, have anxiety, or cry. It’s okay to let things go, such as chores or prior obligations. Take things moment by moment, second by second, if you have to. Live in the now and accept everything that comes with it, even if it is painful. It’s going to be hard. As hard as it can be, ask for help when you can. Really. Ask for help. People will surprise you.

There’s a poem by the Greek author Christianopoulos that says “What didn’t you do to bury me, but you forgot that I was a seed.” After the storm, you’ll see the sunshine. And that’s when you will realize that you have grown, despite the weather, and you’ll be better because of it. You’ll find you know more about yourself than you did before, even though you thought you had you all figured out. Certain things will matter less and others will matter more.

But most of all, know that it will be okay. Grow, seed, grow.


Jan 15, 2019

Organtics January 2019

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