Struck By Seizures

Close-up of a human eye

What Medical Conditions Cause Seizures?

A seizure is a sudden surge of electrical activity in the brain that affects how a person appears or acts for a short time. Seizures are complex phenomena; it is not always clear what precipitates them. Some causes include: diet, medical conditions, head injuries, drugs, medications, infections, etc.

Malnutrition responsible for seizures:

  • Thiamine deficiency in alcoholics
  • Pyridoxine deficiency
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency

Medical conditions responsible for seizures:

  • Brain abscess – a collection of pus caused by an infectious source
  • Brain tumor – a mass of cells that continuously grow
  • Cerebral palsy – a movement disorder that appears in early childhood
  • Down syndrome – a genetic disorder characterized by growth delay and intellectual disability
  • Encephalitis – an inflammation of the brain caused by viruses, rabies, fungi, parasites or bacteria
  • Meningitis – an acute inflammation of the protective membranes of the brain caused by viruses or bacteria
  • SLE – an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks its own tissues
  • Multiple sclerosis – a demyelinating disease causing damage to the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord
  • Febrile seizures – fever in children that precipitates seizures
  • Hypoglycemia – low blood sugar
  • Sleep deprivation

Drugs responsible for seizures:

Drug withdrawal responsible for seizures:

  • Alcohol
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Anesthetics

Medications responsible for seizures:

  • Bupropion – an antidepressant
  • Clozapine – the gold-standard antipsychotic
  • Olanzapine – an atypical antipsychotic
  • Estrogens
  • Meperidine – a synthetic opioid
  • Prednisone – a steroid

Parasitic infections responsible for seizures:

  • Pork and beef tapeworms
  • Schistosoma
  • Malaria
  • Toxoplasmosis

The lists above are not inclusive of all the causes responsible for seizures. It is important to do your own research and speak with a medical professional in person to understand of any risks which you may have. If you experience even one seizure, it is very important to seek medical attention; identifying the source can help prevent future episodes as well as any injuries that can accompany seizures due to falling!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Respect Others As You Respect Yourself

Man standing behind green leafed plants wearing a black shirt that says "respect"

What Does It Mean To Be Respectful?

Without taming our human nature, we’d be running around like a wild pack of animals with no remorse for each other. Human nature does not mean that society works best on what is “natural”; just because something is natural and universal does not make it effective and productive for modern-day society.

From a Freudian perspective, every person has an ego, superego and ID. The ID is the animalistic side of us seeking pleasure: food, sex, sleep and fun. The superego takes societal values and morals into consideration and balances our ego and ID. Some of us are more in touch with our ID.

The problem with too much ID is that respect for others is sidelined while selfish “natural” drives take priority. This causes many problems for society:

  • Women are looked down upon as sources of physical pleasure (lust)
  • Too much emphasis is placed on the self rather than helping others (pride)
  • The quest for power, fortune and control take over (greed)
  • Habitual greed or excess in eating (gluttony)
  • Looking down upon others who hold qualities or possessions which one lacks (envy)
  • Extreme anger towards others for no good reason (wrath)
  • The reluctance to work or make an effort to better humanity (sloth)

One can argue that the seven traits mentioned above are part of human nature; all perfectly “natural” behaviors that serve to benefit us. And for the most part, they are part of human nature. But the argument is that human nature is not always what is best for mankind.

Clearly, the seven traits mentioned above are destructive to an individual and those around them. The solution is it sideline your ID and begin to respect yourself and others. Respect is the due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights or traditions of others.

When we begin to respect ourselves, respecting others no longer poses a challenge.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Enjoy Your Own Company

Photo of blonde woman smiling and happy with herself

Crying From Time To Time

It is very important to learn to be comfortable spending a lot of time by yourself. Many people complain of loneliness or boredom when by themselves. These are normal reactions, but if you are always feeling lonely or bored by yourself, then you may have a bigger problem at hand.

Consistently feeling lonely or bored by yourself means that you are not finding pleasure in your own company. There are many reasons for this: insecurity, attention-seeking, impatience, ineffective time management or lack of self-control. If you do not learn to enjoy your own company, you will always rely on someone else to provide you with happiness.

One advantage to enjoying your own company is that it enhances your experience when you are with others. If you can have fun when you are alone, imagine how much fun you can have when you are around others! And after you are done spending time with others, you will go back to enjoying spending time with yourself!

But if you rely on others to have fun, then you will return back to loneliness and boredom when by yourself. The most important point is that you come first! You must be content with your presence. People can tell when you love yourself, but they can also tell when you are not comfortable by yourself; you reek of desperation and attention.

Another important point to mention is to never be ashamed to cry when you are by yourself! Crying from time to time can actually be very beneficial for your mental health:

  • It helps relieve stress
  • It helps dissolve emotions that you have been holding on too
  • It helps relieve pressure tied to worries and concerns
  • It helps you become more in tune with yourself
  • It humbles you by helping dissolve your ego when it inflates too much

For women, crying may not be an issue. But for men, society has trained us to believe that crying is a sign of weakness. It is quite the opposite. Weakness is when you do not have the courage to become in tune with yourself and dissolve emotions which are impacting your relationships and mental health.

You are not weak by enjoying your own company and crying from time to time! But you are weak when you constantly need to be around others and are ashamed or too proud to cry from time to time.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Everyday Suffering

Old man sitting on outside steps crying with hand over face

You Cannot Suffer The Past Or The Future

Whether you are successful or not, suffering is part of life. As soon as you accept the pain that comes with suffering, the easier it will become to get through the process. One mistake many people make is that they try to battle through the pain rather than just allowing it to be.

Just allowing it to be means experiencing pain or unpleasant feelings without raising your expectation for their disappearance. Do not look for the suffering to end; this will just add more emphasis to the situation. Rather, learn to experience suffering without allowing it to get to you.

The way you do this is by moving on with your life and staying positive as often as you can. With persistent repetition, positivity will slowly overcome your suffering on a more consistent basis. But you have to adopt this mindset and apply it every day for this to work.

You have to come to the realization and acceptance that suffering will always present itself into your life; there is no way of avoiding it. You may not even be doing anything wrong and it still somehow will present itself at your doorstep; it’s just the way life works. So rather than pulling your hair out and crying over why “I’m always out of luck and my life sucks”, expect suffering when it arrives and go on with your life as if nothing new is happening; a “been there, done that” mentality.

The reality is that you cannot suffer the past or the future; you are living in the present and that is all that you can suffer. You may dwell on your past and relive the pain previously experienced, but that pain is only in the form of memories; the past no longer exists. You may dwell on your future and experience pain and worry about what lies ahead, but those are just imaginative scenarios created by your mind; the future does not yet exist.

All you can do is suffer in the present; everyday suffering. No matter how painful suffering is, try to look at the positives that it brings:

  • It builds character
  • It gives you strength and stamina
  • It provides you with experience and wisdom
  • It sets you up for future happiness
  • It makes you more appreciative of life
  • It humbles you
  • It helps break down your ego and build you back up
  • It makes life bitter sweet when it is all over

The biggest mistake that you can make is to give in to suffering and allow it to rock you into the ground (no pun intended). Do not allow suffering to take over your life. You have to learn how to live a happy and successful life while still suffering from time to time.

After all, what is joy without a little pain?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Kill Em With Success

Two women standing near field celebrating success

The Secret To My Success

Belief. Hard work. Sacrifice. And more belief. To be successful, you have to be willing to give up your old mindset of mediocracy and come up with a realistic plan that you can accomplish. Success is step-wise; you climb the staircase and build off your previous accomplishments.

It starts with vision and belief. You have to envision yourself in the future: where you want to be, what kind of person you want to be, your financial situation, your social situation, where you want to live, how much you want to work, etc. The next step is to believe your vision.

Believing your vision may be one of the most difficult steps because it requires constant repetition during times of adversity. With ups and downs, your vision and beliefs take many blows to the side of the head; you start to lose your confidence. But this is when you must stand up harder than before and fight! Persistence and determination get you to the finish line and beyond.

Sacrificing your old mindset, habits and lifestyle is also very important. For some, this may be giving up alcohol, drugs, laziness, a passive lifestyle, friends who are not supportive and not going far in life, etc. Whatever you think is holding you back, you must sacrifice. You cannot expect success and lead a lifestyle of failure. A similar saying stands in the bible,”you cannot serve both God and Satan.”

If you pick your old mindset, then your life will remain at that. If you clear your mind and adopt a new way of living and viewing life, you will be rewarded with your dreams and goals. At first, you may feel uncomfortable leaving your old life behind. This is normal. But as every day passes, you gain strength and stamina and your mind becomes accustomed to your new way of being.

You must have a realistic plan at first. You cannot go from working at Midas to being a wall street CEO making seven figures in two years. You have to come up with a realistic plan and work your way up. Oftentimes, this is through education and hard work. Some people get by in life through connections, but this is not required. If you become blessed with meaningful connections, then by no means utilize their assistance and guidance.

And lastly, do not give up! The road to success has many pitfalls that will attempt to knock you off your path; don’t fall for these traps. Oftentimes, these bumps in the road are there to direct your course and build up your character by enduring pain. Pain is what fuels you with energy and keeps you going. Look at pain as checkpoints that provide you with wake up calls; sometimes we head off course and need something to discipline us more.

What is your success story? Feel free to share as we all can learn from each other.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Improving Mental Health

Doctor in white coat holding patient's hand

Passion, Care And Trust

Our patients come first. Our ego comes last. As soon as the medical community adopts this mindset, mental health care will start to improve. Even among the medical community, there is too much selfishness, pride, competition and ego, that we forget what we signed up for: to help other human beings live happier and healthier lives.

Where is the passion? Many physicians see patients as an obligatory task, like checking off a to-do list. They forget to smile, be empathetic, listen well and compliment. It’s as if burnout has overtaken passion, resulting in empty interactions that lack any meaning or purpose. Passion is a must in order for the mental health of humanity to consistently improve.

Where is the care? I am not referring to prescribing medications or talking to patients. Where is the concern and interest for our patients today? Some physicians crack jokes, laugh and even make inappropriate comments; we cannot expect patients to play along when mental health care is not a playing matter.

Where is the trust? Many physicians say this and that and do not deliver. “I will talk to you later today”, “I will see you in ten minutes”, “I will follow up with you later”, only to do the opposite. Some physicians also sell out to pharmaceutical companies, replacing patient care with money as their number one objective.

Improving mental health is not only about doing genetics and neuroscience research or coming out with more effective medications; that is 25% of the battle. The rest relies on delivering authentic, reliable, passionate and trustworthy care on a daily basis. Our patients rely on us; they view us as healers in times of need.

On the first day of medical school, we put on our white coats and took a vow, to deliver honest and ethical care to our patients for the rest of our careers. Many physicians are unconsciously throwing in the towel and breaking the vow before their careers have even ended; they forget their past.

Let us come together and restore the prestige of medicine and psychiatry!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Relationships Over The Phone

Man sitting at table texting on the phone

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

With so many cellular features at our fingertips, it is hard not to engage (or disengage) with another person in the blink of an eye. There are many advantages and disadvantages of modern cellular communication, but it is important to be aware of how and when to use these features.

If you enjoy talking a lot and find yourself going on for hours at a time, talking on the phone can be a great relationship booster! It is much easier to express yourself by talking than through texting. Talking over the phone can help you learn more about the other person and be more understanding of their emotions, concerns and struggles. It can be used as a continuation of conversations that occur in person, making the transition much easier.

If you are not the type of person who enjoys long chats or are awkward speaking on the phone, then do not utilize this feature; it can potentially ruin a relationship. Unfortunately, talking on the phone is becoming a lost art. Many people prefer to text, which is taking away our opportunity to hear the other person’s voice, emotions, laughter or pain.

Beware of texting! It can either boost a relationship or throw it in the dumps. If you and another person click via texting, then you have nothing to worry about; continue typing away. The issue that presents itself with texting is that your words can be misinterpreted by the other person, resulting in an outcome which you did not intend for.

An important point to make is to always be yourself! Unfortunately, we live in a society where selfishness, manipulation and “ghosting” have become the norm; many people are too self-absorbed. In result, your innocent and friendly texts can go unnoticed, leaving you wondering what you did wrong.

But you did nothing wrong! This is the problem with modern-day texting. It’s hit or miss: either you have people who you can rely on without the worry of them vanishing or you message people who transform into ghosts and disappear from your life. People cannot be changed nor should it be your agenda to change them.

No matter what the positives and negatives of modern cellular communication are, the most important point is to be yourself, live with dignity and focus on bettering your life. Do not waste time and energy wondering why someone is ignoring your calls or not responding to your texts. Live your life on your terms! Find a path that anchors you in a stable mindset and keep moving forward towards success!

The people who are meant to be in your life will stick around or will come back at the right time. Do not chase after people; chase after happiness, excellent physical and mental health and prosperity!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Mild Suicidal Ideation

Positive motivating mental health signs posted on fence along trees

How To Stop Suicidal Intrusive Thoughts

Gun violence. Psychotic breaks. Heroin injections. Hatred fueled by racism. Political clashing. Domestic and international terrorism. Suicides. The list goes on. It is no secret that we are living in times of great stress. Constantly being bombarded by negativity brings up the concept of epigenetics: the modification of genes resulting in some turning on or off.

Think of it like this: stress and negativity result in genetic modifications which result in mental illness. Add to this picture alcohol and drugs and you have a society suffering from addiction, depression, psychosis and suicides. And mental illness almost never presents alone; suicidal ideation is a frequent flyer.

Whether you are suffering from anxiety, depression, OCD, anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder or compulsive buying, mild suicidal ideation will present itself at one point in time, whether you admit it or not. This is because the human mind is not naturally trained to deal with mental illness.

Suicidal ideation becomes a dysfunctional defense mechanism of the mind to put an end to the suffering caused by mental illness. However, suicidal ideation may also become part of a mental illness, becoming stronger and more powerful as each day goes by. For instance, a teenager going through puberty and peer pressure at school may have passive suicidal ideation, but not strong enough to act upon it. But if that same teenager now becomes depressed, the suicidal ideation now becomes persistent and more potent, to the point of progressing to a suicidal attempt.

The key to stopping suicidal thoughts is to break the chain before it has a chance to expand; cut it loose before it self-replicates. If you find yourself having suicidal thoughts, take a deep breath and distract yourself by immediately thinking of something positive in your life. Looking at the positive things in your life allows you to shift your focus away from the virus known as suicidal ideation.

And lastly, never give up! Be honest with yourself and seek help if you continue to struggle with suicidal ideation. There is no shame to being prescribed antidepressants such as Prozac, Lexapro or Wellbutrin or undergoing psychotherapy. Your life is precious so take care of it!

We are all in this together.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Severely Mentally Ill And Suffering From Delusions

Person outside the window suffering from a mental illness and delusions

When Delusions Take Over Reality

Sanity is often taken for granted and not given enough recognition. We live our lives on autopilot, coasting through our days with little worry and concern about our mental health; until a disturbance in our consciousness becomes evident. Then we slow down, press the pause button and wonder, “what was that?”

Now imagine having no pause button because you never had a signal to slow down. Your final destination becomes questionable because you are now confronted with suspicions, beliefs or worries which you never previously thought about. And the scary part is that you start to believe these delusions without knowing them to be delusions.

Imagine believing that your mind is controlled by a government, that there are electrodes placed inside of you, that shoes give you electric shocks or that someone famous is in love with you. 10% of the time you question these beliefs, leaving you 90% of the time in a twilight state.

Imagine no longer being able to tell the difference between what is real and what is not; slowly, more ideas and situations become incorporated into your delusional world. You don’t know what to believe anymore! You are slowly being robbed of your reality, piece by piece, minute by minute; a fictional world now stands as your best bet of becoming your final destination.

And what is a final destination which does not exist?

Delusional Disorder.

Imagine.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Addicted To A Lifestyle Of Drugs

A male driver making a drug payment through window

How To Help Someone With Drug Addiction

What is surprising to hear and learn is that the love for a substance is only half the battle; the other half is the lifestyle surrounding the drug. At first, a new substance makes you very excited; its discovery and introduction into your life brings you joy and floods your mind with anticipatory “high” sessions full of fun and excitement.

Until you become hooked. You have been chasing that first high which felt so great but never attainable again. You believed that with repetitive use, that first great high would be experienced again. You soon come to an acceptance that achieving that first great high will never happen again, but now you are confronted with a new problem: withdrawal.

Many users report that the lifestyle surrounding a drug is what they enjoy: getting the natural rush when heading towards “the spot” to obtain the drug, the paraphernalia of the drug, meeting with other users to share the drug, enjoying certain activities while high on the drug, etc.

When helping someone suffering from a drug addiction, you have to understand that their lifestyle has been hijacked from them:

  • They may no longer have money
  • They may no longer have family support or friends
  • They may be suffering from a physical or mental illness
  • They may have lost all hope and drive to better themselves
  • They may be on the verge of becoming homeless
  • They may be experiencing withdrawal symptoms, preventing them from obtaining a job (their job becomes preventing future withdrawals)

We have a tendency to become irritable and distasteful towards drug addicts. But we must remember one crucial point: we are all humans battling a different type of struggle. We must not look at each other as being better or worse; rather, we need to try to understand each other’s struggles and difficulties.

Listen to a drug addict’s stories, concerns, struggles and pain! Make suggestions and give advice at appropriate times, but in a calm and supportive manner. Expect relapses! They are part of the recovery process. Most importantly, use your heart and imagine being in their shoes! Do not put on your bias lenses which prevent you from understanding where they are coming from.

And lastly, never give up hope on someone suffering from a drug addiction! If they see you giving up on them, what bit of energy is left for them to not give up on themselves? Sometimes, you may be their last hope and if they lose that as well, what else is there to live for? That is when suicide becomes a viable option in the mind of a drug addict with poor judgement and a distorted reality.

Help prevent suicide, mental illness and suffering by being kind, listening and offering help to people suffering from a drug addiction!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)